The Ministry of Farming and Natural Resources has signed here on Monday a three-year Smallholder Horticulture Phase IV Partnership Program with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Israeli Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV).
As per the program some two million USD has been allocated by the aid agencies for horticulture projects aimed at improving smallholder production and marketing of crops such as avocado, mango and citrus fruits.
Signing the agreement, State Minister Wondirad Mandefro said that the project represents the culmination of a decade of successful agricultural development partnership between Israel, the United States and Ethiopia.
The project has provided technical assistance to regional horticultural nurseries through offering training for extension agents who are working at the federal and regional government institutes as well as through supporting extension programs of smallholder farmers since 2005.
Wondirad added that the project would advance progress towards the ambitious goals set for Ethiopia's horticulture sector under the second Agricultural Growth Program.
USAID Program Deputy Chief Peter Vrooman said on his part that the US government is keen to continue its longstanding horticulture development partnership with MASHAV and the Ethiopian government under its feed the future initiative. He added "We look forward to expanding our decade long investment in the horticulture sector to improve the incomes, nutritional status and food security of thousands of smallholder farmers."
MASHAV Head Ambassador Gill Haskel on his part said: " The project will allow Israel to continue sharing its technical expertise in high value horticultural production in the Ethiopian smallholder farmers through strengthening the already deep cultural and historical ties of the partnering nations."
It was learnt that the fourth phase project, which would be implemented until October 2019, has targeted special woredas in Oromia, Amhara, Tigray and SNNP States.