The Programme for Agro-Business Induced Growth in Amhara regional state (AgroBIG) is a bilateral agribusiness development programme financed by the Ethiopian and Finnish governments.

The first phase of AgroBIG (2013-2016) was implemented in Fogera and Mecha woredas in the Amhara region. Phase I aimed at organizational development and partnership building, and to enhance productivity, agribusiness development, marketing, processing and value addition along the selected agricultural and horticultural value chains. This was done through supporting capacity building of value chain actors, and by facilitating access to finance and financial services to farmers, traders, processors, other entrepreneurs, and cooperatives engaged in production, agro-processing, service provision, and commodity trade.

The second phase of AgroBIG will last 4.5 years (2017-2021), and is designed to sustain the gains and achievements of Phase I, and further strengthen agribusiness development within the Tana sub-basin. Phase II has a total budget of EUR 10.3 million.

The beneficiaries of AgroBIG II include 300,000 direct beneficiaries classified into three main groups:

    1. Individual farmers and farming household members
    2. Agricultural cooperatives and associations
    3. Other private sector value chain actors e.g. input suppliers, traders, processors, and service providers

AgroBIG Phase II – New Features

Expanded target area. The programme focuses on two geographically delineated agricultural production clusters around Lake Tana that include 89 kebeles in eight woredas: North Achefer, South Achefer, North Mecha, South Mecha, Bahir Dar Zuria, Dera, Fogera, and Libokemkem, falling under the Koga-Gilgel Abay, Gumara and Rib river catchments. 

More value chains. AgroBIG will continue to support four value chains that were attended to during the first phase of the Programme: onion, potato, rice, and maize. Another four additional value chains have been included during Phase II: tomato, dairy milk, goat and sheep fattening, and production of eggs and poultry meat.

Value Addition focus. The second phase focuses on value addition, job creation and most importantly, creation of sustainable market linkages and contract-based supply.

Finance. AgroBIG strives to improve access to finance and financial services to producers, cooperatives, and various other actors within the selected value chains.

Inclusion of women and youth. A new loan window addressing youth and women in particular is included. The aim is to lower the thresholds of the least advantaged groups to engage in economic activities and income generation.

Programme Approach

AgroBIG’s rationale is to capitalise on the high potential of primary production through adding value at various levels of agricultural value chains. The Programme’s agribusiness activities are oriented around geographically delineated agricultural clusters within which the selected value chains will be supported, in the high-potential flood plain areas around the Ribb-Gumara and Gilgel Abay river systems, scaling up primary production by providing technical support and solutions, enterprise development support through access to grants and loan facilities.

AgroBIG applies a value chain approach, addressing the bottlenecks that hamper the value chain actors get the best from their efforts.

The Programme supports input suppliers, farmers, brokers, processors, wholesalers, retailers and producer and consumer cooperatives and service providers, with increasing attention to the downstream of the value chains, to add value to the produce they deal with, to find and familiarise with profitable markets and new market segments for their produce, and thereby improve competitiveness and profitability of their business initiatives.