More than 1.5 million smallholder farmers to access post-harvest instruments
Addis A2014 – Today, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Agribusiness Market Development (AGP-AMDe) program, a U.S. Feed the Future Initiative, handed over to Becho Woliso, Ambo & Errer Farmers’ Cooperative Unions (FCU) grain grading tools to help smallholder member farmers, notably in wheat and maize, decrease post-harvest losses and increase the crop quality.
The handover represented the new post-harvest handling tools and instruments that 39 FCUs in Oromia, Amhara, Tigray and SNNPR are receiving so more than 1.5 million member farmers will have access to them. The U.S. Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has invested overall $340,000 USD in new grain grading tools and instruments and provides technical support to maximize their use as well as links to markets. The new tools and instruments include hand held grain moisture meters, various tools for sample quality testing, and compact scales.
As part of the overall support to Farmer Cooperative Unions in the four regions, USAID also provided postharvest handling equipment, including grain cleaners, maize shellers, mobile bag stitching machines and fumigation sheets to 15 FCUs that are participating in the World Food Programme’s P4P program.
The objective of introducing these modern post-harvest tools and instruments is to enable members of the Farmers’ Cooperative Union to raise their incomes. Since the start of the AGP-AMDe project in 2012, for example, chickpea post-harvest losses have been dramatically reduced from 20% to 6%, and maize post-harvest losses were cut in half – from 23% to 11%. “Previous investments in post-harvest training and technology have delivered significant results”, said Gary Robbins, a senior USAID official, “and we will continue to invest in the Ethiopian smallholder farmer to improve their productivity and livelihoods.”
USAID’s AGP-Agribusiness Market Development (AMDe) program implemented by ACDI-VOCA, is a flagship activity under the U.S. Feed the Future initiative in Ethiopia and represents one of USAID’s largest contributions to the Government of Ethiopia‘s Agricultural Growth Program.