ADDIS ABABA – The Agricultural Transformation Institute (ATI) and Lersha, a private digital agri platform, on Monday agreed to work together in digitizing Ethiopian agriculture.
The two sides signed a MoU to implement a comprehensive farmer digital profile to allow digital agriculture services to smallholder farmers in the Farmer Production Clusters (FPC) woredas with a range of priority value chains and job creation, per ATI.
The three-year collaboration – set to begin in September this year – will encompass the Amhara, Oromia, Somalia, Tigray, SNNP, and Sidama regions covering 150 FPC woredas.
The ATI says its primary focus lies in developing and enhancing value chains that include production and management components. The key value chain commodities of focus will be wheat, soybean, malt barley, rice, maize, avocado, tomato, onion, and livestock.
Per the MoU, the two partners will create digital profiles for 1,050,000 small-holder farmers, and provide agro-climate advisory and fertilizer recommendations to registered farmers based on the established digital profiles.
Dr. Mandefro Nigussie, CEO of ATI, praised Lersha’s “strong track record of innovation” in the private sector.
“We believe that together we can make a significant impact on the lives of smallholder farmers in Ethiopia, ” he said.
The pair plan to train and engage 55,000 youth in Lersha’s digital platform and leverage ATI’s 8028 Farmer’s Hotline and the National Market Information Service.
“This partnership with ATI is a key step in our efforts to promote one-stop digital services and create jobs
for young people in rural areas,” Abrhame Endrias, Managing Director of Lersha, said.