An agreement was signed for a three year $1.2 million program to provide technical support to accelerate the transfer and adoption of modern agricultural technologies and practices in Ethiopia.

MASHAV, the international cooperation center of the Israel Foreign Ministry, has joined USAID in a joint program with Ethiopia’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to assist Ethiopia’s agricultural development.

At the successful conclusion of a series of working discussions, Israeli Ambassador to Ethiopia Doron Grossman, U.S. Ambassador Aurelia Brazeal, and Ethiopian State Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Belay Ejigu on February 9, 2005 signed an agreement for a three year $1.2 million program to provide technical support to accelerate the transfer and adoption of modern agricultural technologies and practices in Ethiopia.

 MASHAV joins forces with USAID to develop Ethiopia’s agriculture

Ethiopian Minister of State of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Belaye Ejigu, with
US Ambassador Aurelia Brazeal and Israel Ambassador Doron Grossman, and USAID
country representative Mr. William Hammink, at the signing ceremony of the joint program (February 9, 2005).

With USAID financial support, as stipulated in the agreement, MASHAV will be able to bring to Ethiopia the experience accumulated in Israel, which has made Israel one of the world’s leading countries in agro-technologies.

Throughout the coming three years (2005-2008), MASHAV will be implementing the activities specified in the agreement which focus on capacity-building for small holder and commercial farmers, cooperatives, and water user groups as well as government officials in the areas of dairy herd improvement, small scale irrigation and water management, horticulture crop production, soil conservation and biotechnology. 

Training and technical assistance will be provided by MASHAV experts in the fields of disease and pest control, soil management, post-harvest handling, drip irrigation, water use efficiency, and water harvesting. The biotechnology component will build capacity to use tissue culture for rapid propagation of food and tree crops and may use embryo transplants to improve livestock breeds.

USAID and MASHAV have a long-history of partnership in developing countries, particularly in agriculture. In Ethiopia the two agencies have previously cooperated on a small-scale irrigation project in the Amhara region, applied research work to control crop diseases and the promotion of sound natural resource management.

The Israeli Ambassador Doron Grossman expressed the hope that this unique cooperation program with USAID will inspire similar cooperation programs in other places, and that it will eventually become one of MASHAV’s most important cooperation programs with USAID in Africa, an illustration of a partnership type of working model, and inspiration for similar programs elsewhere.

In his remarks during the signing ceremony, Ethiopian State Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Ethiopia Belay Ejigu thanked the governments and embassies of the United States of America and the State of Israel, as well as USAID and MASHAV, for their strong commitment to assist Ethiopia in its efforts to promote rural economic development, and said that the implementation of the agreement shall provide a steady, efficient and more abundant supply of food as well as the sustainable use of natural resources in Ethiopia.