During a virtual consultation, stakeholders from Ethiopia and PARM Secretariat agreed that capacity development is an initial step to design investments in the ARM tools of the country.

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The Government of Ethiopia has reiterated its commitment to work with PARM on agricultural risk management (ARM), focusing on sustainability and progressive ownership. A virtual consultation was held on 7 May 2020 between members of the Steering Committee of the Ethiopian Agricultural Extension Mandate Zonation and the PARM Secretariat. The aim was to initiate the discussion on designing activities in the country and how best to align PARM’s actions with national priorities.

“This is a timely discussion given that the Government is implementing the agricultural extension strategy that would promote better coordination in the provision of client-centered and multi-actor agriculture extension and advisory services in the country”, stated W/ro Yenenesh Egu Bezabih, Director of Extension at the Ministry of Agriculture of Ethiopia and PARM Focal Person in the country.

During the consultation, the Government raised the importance of developing local capacities in agricultural risk management (ARM) taking into account recent events such as the locust invasion and the knock-on effects from the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the participants stressed that PARM Horizon 2 activities will fit into the Ethiopia’s Mandate Zonation strategy, which defines areas for intervention taking into account the rich agro-ecological diversity and size of the country.

“The Mandate Zonation strategy calls for different organizations within the regions in the country, be it research centers/stations, the academia or extension service providers, to work together (create linkages among different actors) for better technology utilization and towards greater impact in the livelihoods of the farmer. There should be a connection between agriculture sector with nutrition and health”, added, Dr. Mandefro Nigussie, Director General of the Ethiopian Institute of Agriculture Research.

“PARM Horizon 2 will leverage on the results of the first phase in particular, on the risk assessment studies, feasibility studies and training sessions jointly developed with the Ministry of Agriculture of Ethiopia”, said Massimo Giovanola, PARM Lead Technical Specialist. Local capacities and knowledge on ARM through a holistic approach are crucial in decision making especially in terms of sustainable investments in agriculture.

The participants agreed that capacity development is an initial step to design investments in the ARM tools of the country. A pilot area within the Mandate Zonation will be identified by the Steering Committee early next week, which will define the modalities of partnership for PARM Horizon 2.