USAID Grants Will Strengthen Research Capacity in Ethiopia

June 9, 2015
By Elias KebedeUSAID Ethiopia Mission Director Dennis Weller (center) with representatives of the grant recipient organizations and project staff.

The United States Agency for International Developmentawarded eight research awards this week to universities and research institutions through its Agriculture Knowledge, Learning, Documentation and Policy project. These grant awards will support agriculture research in farming, livestock production, social protection, dietary diversity and pastoral development that will assist in developing future agriculture projects. Better designed projects will increase agriculture sector productivity and growth, improve poverty reduction and improve nutrition for women and children.

The eight grants, funded through the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative, include:

  • Assessment of the magnitude and causes of young-stock mortality in major livestock production systems of Ethiopia;

  • An evaluation of the economic value of pastoral production systems in the Somali Region;

  • A critical study on dietary diversity and associated factors among rural households in South Gondar Zone and NW Ethiopia; and

  • An impact assessment on productive social protection/safety net interventions among pastoral/agro-pastoral communities in Oromia Region.

The other grants are to research opportunities for spate irrigation (diverting floodwater into fields) to improve forage production, research on trees in farmed landscapes that will safeguard Ethiopia’s precious soil resources, and study the impact of increased pesticide use to identify better ways of safeguarding honeybee colonies and their production.

The Agriculture Knowledge Learning Documentation and Policy project was launched in January 2014 to provide Feed the Future implementing partners and USAID with learning support. Since its beginning, the primary focus has been on reviews, analysis and evaluations, including Ethiopia’s Cooperation Framework for the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition and four major Feed the Future programs.

Feed the Future was launched in 2011 to support increased investments and broad-based agriculture growth through improved productivity and improved resilience to shocks. The initiative is driven by country-led priorities and, here in Ethiopia, the U.S. Government has committed more than USD $270 million to improve food security and provide support to the Ministry of Agriculture.

This article originally appeared on the USAID website.