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Quality-graded wheat value chain development and agricultural transformation in Ethiopia

Agriculture Ethiopia

Photo Credit: ICARDA Ethiopia

With deepening globalization of food markets, demand for higher quality agricultural products has been rising rapidly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Yet, often domestic markets do not pay prices that correspond with the relative quality of crops within the market, which can discourage smallholder farmers from investing in strategies to improve quality, putting them at risk of being displaced on their own markets by higher quality imports. With around five million wheat farmers in Ethiopia, wheat makes up an important income source for many Ethiopian farmers. Around 35% of all Ethiopian farmers produce wheat and sell their surplus to domestic market. However, there is little evidence available to answer whether quality certification at the farmer level can induce smallholder farmers to produce higher quality crops that will meet import standards. In partnership with Digital Green, researchers will randomly assign woredas, or districts, to receive a wheat certification booth, a training about the wheat quality certification process, and an opportunity to try the certification services for free. Ethiopia’s Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) has indicated interest in the study and plans to facilitate expansion of the wheat certification system to the country‚Äôs relevant regions if the intervention proves successful. Results forthcoming.

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