ETHIOPIA – The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has awarded grant funding worth US$84.3M for the implementation of Ethiopia’s Climate Resilient Wheat Value Chain Development Project (CREW) aimed to advance wheat production and increase farmers’ incomes.

The grant agreement was signed by Ahmed Shide, Ethiopia’s Finance Minister, and AfDB Deputy Director General for East Africa, Abdul Kamara.

The funding follows the recent move where the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) partnered with the AfDB to provide technical assistance for the implementation of a US$94.3 million project aimed at addressing the vulnerability of Ethiopia’s wheat production to climate change under Ethiopia Climate Resilient Wheat Value Chain Development Project (CREW).

According to GCA, the CREW project would focus on introducing climate adaptation measures to identify, design, and integrate digital adaptation solutions throughout the wheat value chain.

Therefore, Zawya reports that the plan, which supports Ethiopia’s wheat self-sufficiency initiatives, will be implemented over five years and is envisioned to benefit 500,000 small-scale farmer households.

Ethiopia is the second largest wheat producer in sub-Saharan Africa, after South Africa. The country plans to become wheat self-sufficient and net exporter by 2025/26, aiming to produce an additional 4.2 million tonnes of irrigated wheat by deploying proven technologies and innovations such as TAAT.

Under its flagship Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) initiative, the African Development Bank Group has supported Ethiopia and several other countries across the continent to boost productivity in agriculture.

According to officials, the grant comprises US$54 million from the African Development Fund, the Bank Group’s concessional lending window for low-income countries, US$20 million from the Government of the Netherlands, US$10 million from agribusiness firm OCP Africa, and US$300,000 from the Global Center on Adaptation.

On its part, the government of Ethiopia has committed to contribute US$10 million in counterpart funding for the project.

According to officials, the project has three components: Climate Smart Wheat Productivity and Production; Market Infrastructure, Linkages, and Agri-Finance; and Project Coordination and Management.

On the course to attain sufficiency in wheat, the Government of Ethiopia has also included increasing wheat production as a crucial component of its Ten-Year Development Plan (2021-2030), which aims to accelerate economic progress and ensure national food security.

Following the current offering, the grant brings the Bank’s commitment to Ethiopia to US$1.23 billion, covering the key sectors of basic services, energy, transport, water supply, sanitation, agriculture, and the private sector.

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