Building a Big Tent for Agricultural Transformation in Ethiopia




Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been widely hailed for his promises to open political space, usher in economic liberalization, and remake the country’s poor record on human rights. However, to truly transform his country, Dr. Abiy must first transform agriculture, which is the nucleus of the Ethiopian economy and by far the largest employer. Drawing on interviews and focus groups with seventy stakeholders, this report examines the past wins, current endeavors, and future challenges of Ethiopia’s Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), a federal entity established in 2010 to drive fundamental changes for the country’s 15 million smallholder farmers. It highlights the relationship between the ATA and the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture, the importance of innovation in agricultural transformation, and the role donors like the United States government can play in supporting such-efforts for country-led development.


This report is made possible with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
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Christian Man
Adjunct Fellow (Non-resident), Global Food Security Program

Getachew Diriba

Independent Consultant, Agricultural Development