Agro-Dealership Program Boosts Job Prospects for Ethiopian Youth

A young man running an agro-dealer with support from SAA
A young man running an agro-dealer with support from SAA

Youth in the Negele Arsi, Ana Sora, Meket, Angacha, and Kewet Districts of Ethiopia are witnessing a remarkable transformation in their livelihoods thanks to a vision-driven partnership that saw over USD62,000 invested in six agro-dealer groups in just over three years.

The programme began in 2021, when four youth agro-dealer groups, founded by the Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) were provided with USD 18,231 worth of agricultural inputs like agro-chemicals, personal protective equipment, vegetable seeds, hermetic grain storage bags (PICS), and sprayers, amongst others, as a matching fund from the Crore Program of the Nippon Foundation and Bayer East Africa Ltd. 

The groups’ members were further trained on the safe and responsible use of crop protection chemicals, including application techniques, and precautionary and emergency response measures in case of poisoning. 

As of 2022, three of these groups had served over 1,060 farmers in the Central Ethiopia and Oromia regions, generating USD 14,308 in annual sales revenues.

Despite encountering challenges along the journey, including inflation and capital constraints affecting several of the groups’ initiatives in the Negele Arsi and Ana Sora woredas. However, their resilience prevailed, attracting further support in the form of additional agricultural inputs valued at USD14,120.

Motivated by the early success in delivering input and extension advisory services to farmers while generating substantial income, SAA expanded the program in 2023, adding two more groups, supported with USD30,085 worth of agricultural inputs. SAA also facilitated connections between agro-dealer groups, wholesalers, and distributors, ensuring reliable access to agricultural inputs. 

The initiative continues to boost the access to reliable agricultural inputs and advisory services for smallholder farmers, while creating meaningful job opportunities for young graduates.

Retrieved from SAA E-Newsletter, issued in April 2024, titled "Focus on Ethiopia"

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