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Ethiopia has the sixth largest amount of arable land in Africa


Our vision is for Ethiopian smallholder farmers to have timely access to the right quantity and quality of inputs. Alongside improved agricultural practices, this will increase productivity and production to ensure a higher quality product is supplied to both domestic and export markets at a fair price.



Ethiopia has 15 million hectares of arable land, and a diverse agroecology suitable for growing 140 different types of crops, from arid to temperate varieties.  However, only 23 percent of Ethiopia’s arable land is currently irrigable, which in turn means merely 4.6 percent of land is both irrigable and arable. Of the usable land, fruit and vegetable sector farming constitute 3.24 percent of the land used for agricultural production nationally.


In the horticulture sector, Enterprise Partners seeks to enhance Ethiopia’s production and export capabilities by improving farmers’ access to the right quantity and quality of inputs (such as working with seed suppliers), and by facilitating the teaching of good agricultural practices. Additionally, Enterprise Partners is supporting processors to increase the quality of their processes and diversify their product mix. We intend to generate £24 million worth of new investments, income opportunities for 60,000 smallholder farmers, and 3,000 new jobs in commercial firms by 2020.



Theory of Change




Through interventions to boost seedling propagation with a view to increase supply and marketing of improved seedlings at competitive price, Enterprise Partners brings in investment in commercial propagation, which also supports extension services for smallholder farmers.  Through this initiative, smallholder farmers are able to access quality seedlings, improve their crop yield, and increase their incomes in the long run.


Marketing of Quality Seedlings

The quality seedlings intervention which was implemented from 2015 – 2020 was aimed at improving the marketing of quality seedlings through collaboration with a private extension support system.   


EP partnered with 13 private seedling propagators nationally to implement a model that used agents as a delivery and communication tool between propagators and farmers. Agents were incentivized in cash and in-kind by the propagators to promote, assess, collect demand, carry out extension support and deliver seedlings to the farmers. In return agents were trained on good agronomic practices and data/book keeping.  


Partners have realized the viability of the agent-based approach and are now equipped to predict a farmer’s future demand in respect of variety, quantity and quality. Farmers have also started demanding better quality and better technical support. A business model is being considered for propagators to provide technical support to farmers at a fee.    


Across SNNPR, Oromia, Tigray and Amhara regions the agent-based model was able to reach over 36,000 fruit and vegetable farmers.



Enterprise Partners currently works with various commercial farms and the Ethiopian Horticulture Producers and Exporters Association (EHPEA) to secure export linkages to international markets, and support adherence to various international export standards. Additionally, Enterprise Partners lobbies government entities to encourage favorable export regulation.



Quality Improvement and Product Diversification

Enterprise Partners worked with tomato processors, commercial farms and farmers’ unions to build out-grower schemes (supply agreements between different parties in a supply chain). These schemes will promote good agricultural practices and assist smallholders to gauge more effectively the needs of the market. These initiatives will also help to create and sustain fair market practices for both smallholders and tomato processors.


The processed product quality improvement and diversification intervention which was implemented from 2017 – 2019 aimed at addressing the constraint of poor market competitiveness due to poor product quality and limited product mix as well as dependence on imported pulps by processors. Through demonstrated product quality improvement and diversification, the intervention achieved better market competitiveness with improved investment and technical capacity among private and public actors.


EP worked with three processors and two technical consultants as well as the Ethiopian, Food, Beverages and Pharmaceuticals Industries Development Institute (EFBPIDI) and the Ethiopian Bottled water and Soft drink Manufacturing Industries Association (EBMSIA) to implement the intervention. With support from an international expert, the three processors upgraded their quality systems and diversified their product lines

           . All three processors now have export-level quality standard, having
                   acquired or soon to acquire ISO 22000 certification in order to access
                   international markets. 

             One processor has totally substituted (100%) imported pulp by locally

                   processed pulp for its mango juice processing. 

             Another processor conducted a national study on the availability and

                   potential of processing on five selected fruits and vegetables in

                   Ethiopia. The study was carried out by one of the local consultants

                   which EP supported to build technical capacity in the sector. The study

                   showed viable potential for substituting the processor’s present

                   franchised brand with locally-processed pulp as well as other

                   investment potential which the investor is looking into.

             The third processor, a strawberry jam producer is preparing to export.

                   This processor also developed a new tomato ketchup recipe for which

                    it has secured a bank loan for development. present




Important Links

FAV Case Study - Jagdish, Joytech Farms

“We don’t just sell seedlings, we sell services.”

Intervention Team

Horticulture Sector Lead

Tilaye Bekele ✉


Semir Mohammednur ✉