Addis Ababa February 04/2013 The U.S. government through USAID launched the Commercial Farm Service Program in support of the agricultural growth plan of the Ethiopian government, the U.S. embassy said.
According to a statement the embassy sent to ENA on Monday, the program is launched as part of President Obama's Feed the Future Initiative in Ethiopia.
The statement said the new two year program will provide grants and training to rural entrepreneurs to help create one wholesale and six retail farm service centers designed to meet the operational needs of farmers.
The centers, which are medium to large-scale suppliers that provide an array of agricultural supplies, or inputs, such as fertilizers, seeds, agricultural tools and other equipment, will reach at least 30,000 smallholder farmers in Oromia region.
It said the centers also provide extensive services including machinery rental, processing, veterinary consultation and marketing, among others.
“Farm service centers build value chains that are very important to participating farmers and their families. From ensuring know-how and quality inputs to building links with businesses and markets, these centers are a valuable resource for achieving our agricultural growth plan,” the statement quoted Director of Agricultural Input Supply with the Ministry of Agriculture, Tshome Lakew as saying opening the event.
USAID Deputy Mission Director Jason Fraser said USAID is proud to support this effort to assist dedicated entrepreneurs who are working to support their families and contribute to the overall growth and prosperity of Ethiopia, according to the statement.