Ethiopia: Building Alliances for Action in Coffee from seed to cup (NTF V)
In September 2021, The Government of the Netherlands and the International Trade Centre (ITC) signed a four-year partnership agreement aimed at enhancing trade competitiveness in selected African countries, through the strengthening of digital and agribusiness services and especially the connection between the two.
As part of this Programme, in Ethiopia, ITC will implement a value chain development project with the objective of improving the competitiveness of livelihood farmers and agribusiness MSMEs in the coffee sector with a focus on digitalization. Through the project, ITC aims to promote more efficient and sustainable agribusiness and support services that will lead to increased trade, better incomes and livelihoods opportunities, especially for the smallholder coffee farmers.
The agribusiness component of NTF V in Ethiopia will build on previous work by the ITC Alliances for Action (A4A) team that focused on the generation of sustainable sourcing partnerships in coffee. The focus was upon building alliance platforms for enhanced market linkages and sales, whilst building capacity of MSMEs and producer cooperatives.
A4A works as a network that promotes responsible partnerships for development and better trade and leverages investments and technical support to achieve measurable impact for smallholder farmers and MSMEs. In the framework of NTF V, A4A will look beyond sustainable production to work on an enabling environment and target all steps of the value chain from seed to cup. Digital applications will be used to increase the overall competitiveness of the agribusiness value chain as well as to scale-up results and reach more partners and beneficiaries.
Sustainable Development Goals
ITC partners with the Netherlands to support African agribusiness
Ethiopia is the fifth-largest coffee-producing country in the world and considered to be the birthplace of coffee. Ethiopians are big coffee drinkers, consuming approximately half of what they produce. Coffee is part and parcel of their culture and the centrepiece of community and social gatherings.
It is also the country’s main export crop, contributing to the livelihoods of more than five million smallholder farmers. Smallholders are the backbone of the coffee supply, with approximately 5.3 million small-scale farmers and cooperatives producing 90% of the national output. Coffee is mainly produced in the Oromia and Southern Nation, Nationalities and People’s Region, with minor production in the Amhara and Benishangul-Gumuz regions.
While Ethiopia is a well-established coffee producer and exporter, its farmers still often struggle to make a decent living and bottlenecks persist in the sector. The project’s overall objective is to contribute to decent jobs and improved livelihoods in Ethiopia’s coffee sector. The expected outcome is the facilitation of value chain alliances that are more sustainable, resilient and inclusive and generate additional trade and investment for farmers and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
The NTF V Agribusiness project has been designed and will be implemented through the Alliances for Action (A4A) methodology. A4A is a multi-stakeholder initiative that brings together private and public actors to promote competitiveness and income-risk diversification for smallholder farmers and MSMEs. Above all, A4A improves commercial linkages and participation in trade by targeting value chain operators and focusing on several product-market combinations.
- Identify market opportunities and new buyers in the domestic, regional and international market for the coffee sector and associated crops.
- Strengthen public-private alliances to support the development of more solid ecosystems, including through digital applications.
- Build capacities of support institutions and stakeholders along the coffee value chain. That includes producers, MSMEs, and social enterprises. We work for more competitive and resilient commercialization and production, with a focus on digital and other support services. We work on market access and market intelligence tools, product development/innovation, compliance with quality standards, certification, sustainability principles, access to finance.
- Facilitate linkages for SMEs, social enterprises and producer associations with international, regional and domestic partners, business and investment opportunities.