The ATA signed a five years USD 50Million grants agreement with the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands to support the Agricultural Commercialization cluster (ACC).

The agreement was signed by the CEO of ATA, Khalid Bomba, and Thijs Woudstra, Charge d’Affairs at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Addis Ababa, on July 3, 2019.

The agreement is an extension of a previous signing of an MoU between the FDRE Ministry of Finance and the government of the Netherlands to support the ACC which is implemented by the ATA.

Ato Khalid Bomba, the CEO of ATA, after the signing of the agreement, said the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands has been a key partner since the establishment of the ATA and the commitment has grown strong since then.

Ato Khalid also noted the ACC is a proven model and it has been very successful in increasing production and productivity of smallholder farmers during the piloting. “The partnership in this agreement will be instrumental in implementing the ACC at scale to transform the agricultural sector of Ethiopia and to be self-sufficient,” adds Khalid.

“Smallholder farmers in Ethiopia can come together with the same way the Dutch smallholder farmers consolidated using the cooperative approach after World War II,” he added.

Mr. Thijs Woudstra, Charge d’Affairs at the Embassy on his part noted this agreement is the continuation of the commitments of the Netherlands in supporting the ATA initiatives. “The ACC initiative will prove wrong those who have doubts on previous initiatives tried in Ethiopia,” Mr. Woudstra said. “The ACC approach has and will prove that smallholder farmers can be successful if consolidated and provided the necessary supports,” he added.

The ACC is an initiative through which geographically-targeted interventions are integrated to ensure rapid, sustained, and inclusive development of priority agricultural commodity value chains.

The approach intends to commercialize smallholder agriculture through an inclusive and environmentally sustainable approach. It targets to increase incomes of smallholder farmers. It also aims improved access to domestic and international markets, increased agro-processing and value-addition, and the creation of off-farm employment opportunities.

The program will be implemented by the ATA from July 2019 through July 2023.