Graduating from Food Aid and Productive Safety Nets in Ethiopia
The majority of chronically food insecure households in Ethiopia are located in rural areas; they are dependent on rain fed agriculture, face a variety of production constraints, lack access to financial services, markets, information, and linkages to other stakeholders. A one-time “graduation” from food aid will not be sufficient if it does not also ensure that beneficiaries do not fall back into chronic food deficiency due to emergencies such as drought, family illness, deaths, etc.
The USAID-funded Productive Safety Net Program Plus (PSNP Plus), implemented by CARE, was based on a Graduation Pathway Model, which puts together a package of interventions and executes them in a particular sequence. This package and sequence helps chronically food deficient households first become food sufficient (although still vulnerable), and ultimately to become food sufficient and resilient (able to cope with shocks). As households progress on this graduation pathway, they are linked with mainstream business, finance, training and other services provided by private, public or other actors.
PSNP Plus did this by first identifying feasible value chains that are viable considering the needs and capacities of chronically food insecure households. This was followed by the establishment of Production Marketing Associations and training of small producers in a variety of skills, including value chain related technical training, group organization and management, governance and transparency, and business, market and financial literacy. Systems were put into place for on-time market information (Market Information Platforms), and technical assistance on productivity and quality was mobilized through government agencies and the private sector. PSNP Plus found it critical to engage the government and private sector actors in the project, for example, by invitations to project retreats and planning meetings, joint field trips, and multi-stakeholder platforms to troubleshoot the day-to-day problems and bring the various market actors together to build subsector relationships. In addition, microfinance was made more accessible through a dual track approach that included; 1) organizing households into Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) and linking them to formal microfinance institutions (MFIs), and 2) linking the PSNP households directly to MFIs and cooperatives.
Download the full Case Study about PSNP above.
This Case Study was developed as part of the Field Guide for Integrating Very Poor Producers in to Value Chains, a FIELD-Support LWA resource.