Agriterra and the Ethiopian Cooperative Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding
In April 2022, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ethiopian Cooperative Commission (ECC) and Agriterra. They will join forces to professionalise the cooperative sector in Ethiopia.
Dr. Marco Schouten (CEO Agriterra) and Her Excellency Ferealem Shibabaw (ECC Commissioner) signing the MoU in Addis Ababa
Ethiopia has a large number of cooperatives (over 98,000 primary cooperatives, 395 cooperative unions and 4 cooperative federations). ECC is a government entity tasked with promoting and strengthening cooperatives, developing cooperative policies and legal procedures, registering cooperatives and providing auditing and inspection services to cooperatives across the country.
Agriterra has been operating in Ethiopia since 2012 and assists 18 unions and 6 primary cooperatives this year through various projects. Agriterra Ethiopia has achieved good results the last four years, to name a few: 33 cooperatives connected to banks, supported cooperatives obtained more than 11 million euros through internal capitalisation and loans, 6 value-adding processing facilities were established, and so on.
The main objectives of this partnership are:
- Collaborate towards modernising the Ethiopian cooperative sector and contribute towards the creation of new generation cooperatives at scale. This includes piloting the establishment of a data system for cooperatives connected to specific supply chains, which will help ECC, Agriterra and other stakeholders whose tailored technical support is required at a larger scale.
- Provide technical assistance on governance, financial management and business development- to the potential cooperatives to become more market-oriented farmer-led businesses and bankable. This includes assistance in improving the internal governance of cooperatives, business development, and financial performance.
- Improve the cooperative sector experts and leaders’ knowledge and experience by organising exposure visits locally and internationally to promote collaboration between cooperatives.
- Assistance in the ECC effort to establish a league (an apex institution) that represents all cooperatives in Ethiopia in lobby and advocacy activities.
- Participation and collaboration in joint studies, research and pilots in areas of cooperative innovation and development. Areas of innovation can include new strategies that promote climate smart agriculture/carbon farming, youth & women inclusion in cooperative services and the use of IT based solutions at the cooperative level.
ECC provides support and facilitates for the smooth implementation of the above objectives in all working areas in partnership with Agriterra Ethiopia. On the other hand, Agriterra designs new projects and programmes and mobilises funding that could help to achieve the above objectives.