MTK in Ethiopia

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

MTK and Finland support small-scale producers and food security in Ethiopia

Ethiopia, a country of 90 million people, has been Finland’s development partner for almost 50 years. The capital city of Addis Ababa is Africa's political center and the seat of the African Union, the AU's headquarters and other international organizations.

Ethiopia's economy has developed strongly in the 2000s, which has been greatly supported by development cooperation investments. The European Union country provides approximately one billion Euro a year, and Finland about 25 million. Finland's development cooperation projects focus on rural water supply, sanitation and land management, and land survey development. Also, erosion prevention, education and training, as well as improvement of agriculture and rural development are supported.

MTK has worked and contributed for a few years in the country through a new development cooperation model by cooperating with AgriCord, which is a farmers’ international umbrella organization. The Finnish Foreign Ministry provides funding to AgriCord and MTK is the represented at the Board level. MTK's development projects focus on food security and the development of sustainable forestry production, so that farmers and forest owners can improve their lobbying and market position. The aim is to strengthen farmers' organizations by enhancing capacity building.

During the visit to Ethiopia, the MTK-AgriCord-delegation met with representatives of farmers' organizations, experts and government officials, politicians and diplomats. The delegation met with the African Union Agriculture Commissioner Ms. Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, who emphasized the cooperation with the European Union, the role of the farmers in the food chain and the challenges of responding to climate change. Ethiopian Agriculture Minister Tefera Derbew confirmed that the food security situation in the country has improved well in the recent years. Agriculture has good growth potential, but this requires additional training, investment, and implementation of best practices.

For more information: Director Seppo Kallio, MTK, +358-40 751 1178

The text is based on the visit of Seppo Kallio and farmers’ development organization AgriCord’s adviser Pekka Jämsen to Ethiopia during 31 October to 6 November 2012.

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