ETHIOPIA – The Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture has announced the development of an innovative Enset processing machine through a collaborative effort between Feed the Future Ethiopia Transforming Agriculture Activity, Arba Minch University, and local private companies.

The announcement was made during a launching program, where Agriculture State Minister Meles Mekonen highlighted the transformative potential of this innovation.

A crucial aspect of Ethiopia’s agricultural agenda, the Enset processing machine directly addresses a strategic concern identified in the preparation of the National Enset Development Flagship Program (NEDFaP).

Launched in 2021 with the “Sodo Declaration,” the NEDFaP aims to streamline interventions from 2023 to 2030, seeking a comprehensive transformation of Enset research, production, processing, and marketing.

According to Minister Meles Mekonen, “This groundbreaking innovation will effectively address one of the strategic issues identified during the preparation of the National Enset Development Flagship Program.”

He emphasized that Enset is not merely a crop but a cornerstone of food security, especially in regions like Sidama, Central, Southwest, and Southern Ethiopia, where its resilience to drought and climate change is of paramount importance.

The traditional Enset value chain has long been hindered by labor-intensive methods, disproportionately affecting women and girls responsible for the arduous task.

The Enset processing machine promises to alleviate this burden, marking a significant step towards gender equality in agricultural practices.

Feed the Future Ethiopia Transforming Agriculture, a five-year, $67 million initiative, aims to improve the diets of 7 million people, particularly women and children, across 132 target woredas in Ethiopia.

The Enset processing machine aligns with Ethiopia’s broader vision for food system transformation by 2030, as articulated by H.E. Ato Omer Hussein, the Minister of Agriculture.

Minister Hussein’s Vision for Food Systems Transformation: H.E. Ato Omer Hussein presented Ethiopia’s vision for food systems transformation at the United Nations Food Systems Summit.

The ambitious plan aims to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, encompassing nature-positive production, sustainable consumption patterns, equitable livelihoods, land preservation, and resilience to shocks and stress.

Collaboration across all food system actors is deemed crucial for the realization of this vision. The implementation approach involves a comprehensive strategy outlined in a Technical Synthesis Paper, Ethiopia’s position statement, and a roadmap.

Over 120 stakeholders, including government departments, private corporations, universities, research institutes, civil society organizations, and multilateral institutions, have actively contributed to the formulation process.

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