MAFAP renews efforts to support Ethiopia in repurposing food and agricultural policies to boost inclusive agricultural transformation

06 Oct 2022
The Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture and MAFAP launched a project to support ongoing reforms in the agricultural sector





The Monitoring and Analysing Food and Agricultural Policies (MAFAP) programme has kicked off its new phase of technical and policy support together with the Government of Ethiopia. Over the next five years, MAFAP will help monitor, prioritize and reform policies and investments to support the country’s revised Agriculture and Rural Development Policy, with a view to strengthen interventions in the areas of food security and nutrition, poverty reduction, agrifood sector growth, and youth and women employment in the sector.  

High-level representatives from FAO, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), the Ministries of Trade, Finance, and Planning, as well as the Policy Studies Institute and the private sector, met during the new MAFAP III (20222027) programme launch to monitor, prioritize and reform public policies in the agricultural sector through an evidence-based analysis approach. More specifically, the meeting discussed collaboration on monitoring public spending to better understand spending patterns, priorities and bottlenecks. Furthermore, officials also discussed how public policies affect price incentives for agricultural commodities relative to international prices that influence farmers’ decisions to produce and trade a commodity. 

Welcoming participants and speaking on behalf of FAO Representative in Ethiopia Farayi Zimudzi, Workicho Jateno, Assistant FAO Representative said, “I am pleased to see MAFAP will be supporting the Government of Ethiopia to implement the upcoming Agriculture and Rural Development Policy, a major milestone for the sector”.

This kind of technical and policy support is core to our country work and aligned with new FAO’s Strategic Framework to build more sustainable and efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind,” added Zimudzi.

In his keynote address, H.E. Efa Muleta Boru, State Minister at the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture, underscored the fact that the project plays an important role in fostering Ethiopia’s agricultural sector through policy instruments. 

The Ethiopian Government has set out its agricultural development agenda in the nation’s ten-year plan, which seeks to transform it into an exemplary African Prosperity Initiative. This project will therefore contribute to the realization of this vision through addressing policy gaps”, said the State Minister.

Globally, there is huge momentum for countries to rethink, repurpose and reform their policies on food and agriculture”, said Marco V. Sánchez, Deputy Director of Agrifood Economics at FAO. “Ethiopia is a long-standing partner country where we have helped on several policy reforms, so we are pleased to renew the MAFAP programme, standing ready to support the government with economic analyses and policy advice, aiming to guide the government on its path to inclusive agricultural transformation, better nutrition and easier market access for farmers”, added Sánchez.  

Additionally, MAFAP will help the government prioritize investments in the sector through a new tool that can channel public money towards the development and marketing of commodities and priority areas, such as infrastructure, irrigation, extension, mechanization, fertilizer, seeds, to have the highest positive impact on inclusive agricultural transformation. The programme launched today marked the first round of discussions to start distilling the policy issues and investment priorities, the analysis of which will be at the core of phase III of the MAFAP programme, and largely for 2023–2024.  

Ethiopia is a long-standing partner country of the MAFAP programme, having worked closely together on providing demand-driven evidence to the government to shape public policy. Over the years, this support has focused on agricultural marketing and trade reforms, as well economic analyses on investment plans for Ethiopia’s integrated agro-industrial parks. 

As a cross-cutting initiative to drive forward Ethiopia’s inclusive agricultural transformation, the partnership will also potentially involve the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Trade, Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Planning and Development, Ministry of Innovation and Technology, Macro-economic Committee, and Coffee and Tea Development Authority (CTDA), Ethiopian Pulses and Oilseeds Association (EPOSA), and State Enterprises including the Ethiopian Trade and Business Corporation (ETBC).