The Ethiopian Agriculture Transformation Agency (the Agency or ATA, www.ethiopian-ata.org) is an initiative of the Government of Ethiopia (GOE) established in 2011. The primary aim of the Agency will be to promote agricultural sector transformation by supporting existing structures of government, private-sector and other non-governmental partners to address systemic bottlenecks in the system to deliver on a priority national agenda to achieve growth and food security.
The formation of the ATA is a result of two years of extensive diagnostic study across eight sub-sectors of Ethiopia’s agricultural system in a highly-consultative, multi-stakeholder process led by the Ministry of Agriculture with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.1 Modeled after similar public-sector bodies in Asia (i.e. Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, etc.) that played important roles in the growth of those national economies, the Agency’s structure and function is focused on nimble, innovative and results-oriented support to a range of partners in the agricultural sector.
The ATA will be led by a Chief Executive Officer and a high-caliber staff of senior professionals. Governance will be provided by an inter-ministerial council, chaired by the Prime Minister. The Minister of Agriculture will serve as the deputy chair with additional representation from other relevant federal ministries and heads of regional agricultural bureaus. The ATA will be headquartered in Addis Ababa with potential offices located in the various regions of the country.
Programmatically, the ATA will focus on a set of high priority initiatives identified by the Council. There are expected to be approximately 5-6 initial areas of focus, including seeds, markets and cooperatives, technology access and adoption, soil fertility management and extension. Across the thematic initiatives, the ATA engages public, private and non-governmental stakeholders to support strategic planning, strengthen implementation capacity, and test innovative models. The ATA will be financed by GOE and also supported by a range of development partners.