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CARD 2nd Working Week for developing NRDS-2 in Ethiopia

 

Government of Ethiopia has recently classified rice as an ‘emerging crop’ under its perspective plan for growth and transformation (GTP-2).  Unlike for the traditional crops; it is believed that the perspective plan will emphasize on the development of the rice value chain in the years to come.  Under the second phase of the CARD initiative, Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) has set up a taskforce to develop the second National Rice Development Strategy (NRDS-II) for the period 2020-2030.  Through a CARD working week held in October 2019, the taskforce members met and established a strategic framework for the NRDS-II. 

 

Since then, the taskforce members drafted the contents of the NRDS-II document (zero-draft) and shared with CARD Secretariat.  Following virtual discussions on the contents and the need for affirming targets and indicators for the NRDS-II, the taskforce requested CARD Secretariat to organize a second working week to finalize the draft on the NRDS-II.  Subsequently, the CARD Secretariat in collaboration with MoA and JICA-Ethiopia office arranged the second working week in Bishoftu, Ethiopia; and delegated a regional consultant for facilitating the discussions and providing the required technical assistance to the process.  This note summarizes the outputs from the discussions held and sets a way forward for the process in Ethiopia.

 

CARD activity and the results

The primary objective of the mission was to guide the taskforce reach a consensus on the methodology of target setting and fine-tune the zero-draft of the NRDS-II so that it can be submitted to the ‘Technical Committee (TC)’ of the MoA, which oversees formulation of rice-related policies in Ethiopia.

 

The second working week on the NRDS-II was held at Bin International Hotel at Bishoftu between 2nd and 5th of December 2019.  About 8 participants representing the various departments of the Ministry of Agriculture, Agriculture Transformation Agency (ATA) and JICA participated in the discussions.  Following a briefing on the expected outputs and general comments on the zero-draft of the NRDS-II; the CARD’s consultant first engaged the participants in brainstorming over the various target-setting techniques. 

 

The taskforce members acknowledged that the data available on paddy production in the country varies significantly between that of Central Statistics Agency (CSA) and that of regional Bureaus of Agriculture.  Because the CSA follows methodological crop-cutting from the sample plots across the country, the taskforce has decided to adopt CSA data under the NRDS-II target-setting exercise.  However, since household survey on consumption of rice has not yet been undertaken in Ethiopia, the sum of domestic production and importation from elsewhere is perceived as the total consumption demand.  Since the zero-draft included the domestic production of raw rice (without accounting for the milling recovery), the taskforce revised the consumption demand by applying 65% on the official paddy production data available from CSA between 2009 and 2016.  Using the population figure data of the corresponding years, the taskforce then estimated the per capita consumption for the same period. 

 

Trends in per capita rice consumption rates revealed that it has been growing at a rate of 0.4268 Kg/year.  The taskforce members acknowledged that the socio-economic drivers that geared the increment in rice consumption will continue at least in the near future.  Hence by applying the increment rate on per capita consumption to CSA’s projected population figures of 2020-2030; the total domestic consumption during the NRDS-II period was calculated.  By converting these estimations on consumption to paddy rice, the taskforce members were able to set the targets for achieving self-sufficiency under the NRDS-II. 

 

The zero-draft projected three growth scenarios in rice value chain development viz., (1) business-as-under the NRDS-I, (2) moderate acceleration of the efforts made during the NRDS-I, and (3) aggressive pursuit of rice value chain development.  Since the estimated targets for self-sufficiency required an additional area of 320,000 Ha (6-fold increase over the base year of 2019) and 1.8-fold increase in productivity (from 2.712 t/Ha in 2019 to 5 t/Ha by 2030); the taskforce members have decided to adhere to aggressive mode (Scenario-3) alone under the NRDS-II.  The aggressive mode will require an overhaul of institutional and policy environments.  The taskforce members expressed confidence that the current efforts of government’s policy reforms shall be injected with the strategic aspirations and implementation of the NRDS-II.

 

Accordingly, the taskforce reviewed the zero-draft so that it adequately captures the revisions in targets and value chain intervention elements.  The zero-draft was also reformatted into a first-draft for sharing with the TC of MoA for further review and validation by national stakeholders.  The taskforce will share the contours of the NRDS-II with the TC members through an upcoming meeting in mid-December.  During the meeting, the taskforce members will make power point presentations on current situation (trends, challenges and opportunities), strategic framework (goal, targets, objectives, major interventions and indicators), and the envisaged implementation.  

 

Way forward

The taskforce members have decided to share the finalized draft with the technical committee that oversees the policy formulations in rice sub-sector and seek their inputs.  After reflecting their inputs into the draft, it will be shared with the steering committee members of the MOA for a formal approval of a validation process for the NRDS-2.  Soon after, the taskforce will organize a national rice stakeholders’ workshop for validating the NRDS-2.  The taskforce has planned to complete the validation and launch the NRDS-2 by the end of March 2020.