While this approach has brought about significant growth of the sector, structural transformation of agriculture, necessary to support Ethiopia’s industrial and economic ambitions, requires additional interventions.

Transformation involves implementing multiple interventions simultaneously and coordinating
a complex stakeholder landscape. At the same time, it requires the development of a culture that continuously pilots, tests, monitors and adapts strategies and interventions for changing circumstances. Transformation also includes the challenging process of change management among some stakeholders that are comfortable with the status quo.

Ethiopia has modeled its agricultural transformation approach on the successful
path taken by countries such as Taiwan, Korea and Malaysia. The two main features in those countries’ models were: 1) a clear set of prioritized interventions to address the critical bottlenecks in a particular part of the economy; and 2) a dedicated institution that supports senior policy makers and key institutions with strategic input on planning, coordinating, implementing, tracking, evaluating, and refining prioritized interventions to address identified bottlenecks.

In Ethiopia, this set of prioritized interventions
is known as the Agricultural Transformation Agenda, a mechanism designed to provide a coordinated approach to remove the structural bottlenecks that constrain the achievement of specific agricultural targets. During GTP I, the Transformation Agenda was composed of 84 deliverables – activities with the highest potential to impact smallholder farmers in Ethiopia. These deliverables are owned and implemented by a variety of agricultural stakeholders involved in the planning, execution, capacity building, and monitoring and evaluation.

While the Agricultural Transformation Agenda aims to solve many systemic bottlenecks, it
is not an attempt to remove all bottlenecks in Ethiopian agriculture, nor does it encompass all activities that must be carried out within each GTP period. Most importantly, the success of the Transformation Agenda hinges on the smooth collaboration of partners to effectively execute all prioritized activities.

A Catalytic Approach to Transformation

Beyond simply attempting to address individual bottlenecks, the interventions prioritized in the Agricultural Transformation Agenda are highly integrated to create a “network” effect. In many cases, the obstacles being addressed – and even some of the solutions being pursued – may not be new. However, the Transformation Agenda approach focuses on effective execution of solutions and aligning complementary efforts that, together, may produce exponentially more beneficial results. By focusing on execution and strategically integrating interventions, the Transformation Agenda aims to accelerate the growth and impact of its efforts, producing transformative results in the shortest time possible.