Netherlands Extends 50 Mln USD in Grant for Ethiopia’s Agricultural Commercialization

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Addis Ababa June 27/2019 Ethiopia and the Netherlands have signed today a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the Agricultural Commercialization Clusters (ACC) Initiative amounting to 50 million USD in the form of grant.

The MoU aimed at commercializing ACC projects that the country targets to benefit the small holder agriculture through an inclusive and environmentally sustainable approach.

The project would significantly contribute to increasing small holder farmers’ income, improving agro-processing and value-addition beyond the creation of off-farm employment opportunities, it was indicated.

State Minister of Finance, Admasu Nebebe and Charge d’Affairs of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ethiopia, Thijis Wounstrahis signed the agreement in Addis Ababa.

The project will be also implemented through the agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) on the geographical cluster of the four major regions including, Tigray, Amhara, Oromia and Southern Nations Nationalities Regional States (SNNP) between 2019 and 2023.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, State Minister of Finance Admasu said the financial grant will have a pivotal contribution to create economic opportunities for Ethiopian small holder farmers by improving access to domestic and international markets.

“The MoU of the Agricultural Commercialization Cluster project that we signed today further boosts the longstanding development cooperation of the two countries by contributing to Ethiopia’s agriculture sector development,” he stated.

Noting that economic, trade and investment relations between Ethiopia and the Netherlands are stronger than ever, the State Minister said more than 130 Dutch small and medium-sized agricultural and horticultural companies have been operational in Ethiopia.

On behalf of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Thijs Woundstra, said on his part as Ethiopia has been in transformation, the financial grant support will help to consolidate the agricultural sector.

According to him, the two countries’ cooperation in the agriculture sector which is considered as the backbone of Ethiopian economy started almost 17 years ago, the cooperation has brought many positive changes in the sector.

He added that Dutch is the second agricultural goods exporter and he hopped Ethiopia will join this club.

Netherlands will strengthen its keen support to transform and enhance the productivity of Ethiopia’s agriculture sector, he indicated.