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 project will explore digital solutions and related services to overcome the negative effects of agribusiness value chains’ disruption brought by Covid-19, globally as well as locally such as lack of agricultural inputs, increase in price of raw material, decrease in international demand (during the lockdown period) and the consequent need of finding alternative markets.
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.
Additionally, and taking into account Ethiopia’s current political background, NTF V has (i) strategically selected the regions where to focus activities in the South and South-West of the country (Sidama, Yirgacheffe and Jimma/Oromia) and (ii) designed an implementation model built on local expertise to assure continuation of work in the eventuality of a travel ban.
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. The A4A approach places particular emphasis on social, environmental and economic sustainability which among other things implies a more holistic approach to sources of agricultural income and the consideration of coffee as well as other crops produced in association with it. This allows for the design of more comprehensive and effective resilience strategies in agribusiness.
The main objectives of the action in Ethiopia are:
- 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 (producers, SMEs, Social Enterprises (SE)) for more competitive and resilient commercialization and production, with a focus on digital and other support services (market access and market intelligence tools, product development/innovation, compliance with quality standards, certification, sustainability principles, access to finance).
- Facilitate linkages for SMEs, SEs and Producers Associations with international, regional and domestic partners, business and investment opportunities