The first of the 20 one-stop-shop farm service and input distribution centers planned to be established in four regional states of Ethiopia, Bako Farm Service Center was inaugurated on May 12/2017.
This first center for the country which envisions addressing the needs of farmers in inputs and services will also serve as a platform to disseminate new techniques, technologies and practices, according to a press release of the Embassy of USA in Ethiopia.
As part of Feed the Future initiative the public-private partnership is meant to expand Ethiopian smallholders’ access to supplies.
Access to quality agricultural supplies at affordable prices at the right time of the season is a significant challenge to Ethiopian farmers, the press release noted.
The newly inaugurated Bako Farm Service Center is located in the maize belt area of Ethiopia, in the remotest part of the country where access to agro-supplies has been a critical challenge to smallholder farmers.
The enter owned by Alemitu Hordofa, a female entrepreneur, is a one-stop-shop that provides smallholder farmers with quality farm supplies such as improved seed, chemicals, farm equipment, veterinary drugs and equipment, as well as consultancy services and training, which enable smallholder farmers to sustainably increase productivity and household income, it was pointed out.
The entrepreneur is quoted as saying that “I strongly believe in the impact that my farm service center can have in this community. It will offer the solution for farmers to access good quality goods and services at an affordable price in close proximity”.
The farm service center is expected to impact the lives of more than 10,000 smallholder farmers in Bako and neighboring woredas.
According to the press release, the project will be establishing farm service centers in Ethiopia’s main farming regions: six in Amhara, seven in Oromia, and four in Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples, and three in Tigray.
Each farm service center will open in collaboration with qualified entrepreneurs who were identified through a competitive process to receive grants up to 50,000 USD to start their business.
Each successful bidder contributes a minimum of 50 percent of the funding necessary to establish their center-designed and operated based on standards and support provided by the project.
Feed the Future, a 3.5 billion USD global hunger and food security initiative, sustains the U.S. Government’s commitment as one of Ethiopia’s largest partners in developing the agriculture sector, which is a fundamental cornerstone of the Ethiopian economy.