New policies from the Ethiopian government and development partners show a clear interest in up scaling application of the value chain concept and to develop the private sector in the agri-business. The small scale production is not able to meet the growing demand in the urban areas. Consumers are willing to pay for value added, nutritious quality food products. Due to a lack of locally processed food, consumers still rely on imports, yet the country conducive for the production of high quality agro products. But due to a lack of organisation of the whole supply chain and its disconnect with the market (local, regional, national and international) a lot of the high potential land and labour capacities are not put to their best use.
More local and international private investors are developing new agro – food industries and value chains. All together a huge demand for value chain development expertise is being felt already. Within this larger environment encouraging private sector development and investment is the engine to growth.
Since 2006, SNV has experimented with the private sector and value chain approach within the innovative Business Organisations and their Access to Markets (BOAM) program. This approach was based on systemic interventions and a focus on the middle of the value chain. Successes have been reported and are recognised by the government and development partners. Focus is on the dairy, horticulture, staple crops, oilseed and the honey and bee products value chains.