Final Evaluation of the Edible Oils Value Chain Enhancement Joint Programme in Ethiopia

Evaluation start: 06.2013. - Evaluation end: 07.2013.
Ethiopia_Focus_Group_Processors1.jpg Introduction

The Edible Oil Value Chain Enhancement Joint Programme (hereinafter Programme) fits was designed as a pilot project to address the issues of the oil seeds sector indicated in the Agro-Industries Master Plan, worked on by collaborating UN agencies, in cooperation with and on behalf of the Ethiopian Government. The Programme worked to showcase development of an efficient oil seed value chain that would promote entrepreneurship, provide capital and services to farmers, raise demand for agricultural products and connect farmers with markets, addressing the production, handling, processing, marketing and distribution of oil seeds. The Programme aimed to generate employment and income, and to improve the productivity and quality of oil seeds and edible oil. The process was intended to lead to increased food security and innovation throughout the value chain, increasing the income of farmers, processors and traders, and in so doing, addressing three MDGs: Goal 1 – poverty reduction, Goal 3 – gender equity improvement, Goal 7 - sustainable development.

The Programme was funded by the Spanish Government’s Millennium Development Goals Fund, with a total budget of US $3,000,000. The Programme was implemented by the UNIDO as the lead agency, with FAO and the ILO, together with national counterparts which include the Ministry of Industry as the lead governmental institution, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs as well as their regional and district level representatives.
The Programme, which was conducted in two regions of Ethiopia, Amhara and Oromia, was initiated in January 2010, for a project period of 3 years. It was granted a no-cost extension of six months, through 30 June, 2013.


The Programme has made an important contribution, in the context of a pilot programme, to delivering Outcome 1 - Productivity and competitiveness of private sector led agricultural production of oil seeds is enhanced. For the group of oil seed farmers who were involved, and for their related primary cooperatives, productivity and competitiveness of oil seeds has been enhanced. Much more work is yet to be done, and many more farmers and primary cooperatives must participate in a related programme, for there to be significant benefit to the sector, and to Ethiopia as a whole, but the Programme has demonstrated, clearly, the direction this work should take.

The Programme has made a significant contribution to Outcome 2 - The capacity and competitiveness of the stakeholders for processing of edible oil seeds is enhanced. Processors of oil seeds have experienced, and express, a renewed confidence in the sector, and through linkages within the processing component of the value chain, and up and down the value chain (but particularly with seed growers and their related cooperatives and cooperative unions). These linkages, which function within the cluster arrangement of the sector, are the strongest indicator from the Programme of the necessary future directions both for a potential scale-up of the Programme and for the development of the sector nationwide. There is significant potential in Ethiopia for domestic production of edible oil to replace imports, and the Programme been particularly effective and successful in improving processor competitiveness and capacity to achieve this result. With one particular development, the Programme has gone well beyond its design, and has established a clear plan for potentially critical changes to the structure and functioning of the oil seed sector in the future. This development, the establishment in both the Amhara and Oromia regions of joint processing facilities, has been an exemplary demonstration of a public private partnership, and sets the stage for potentially significant developments in the sector.

The Programme has made a strong contribution to the achieving Outcome 3 - Access to local and international markets for edible oil producers. The most important aspect of the Programme’s success in this component of the value chain was not in relation to international markets, but in the development of the vertical linkages within the value chain that have contributed to an improved marketing framework for seed growers, cooperatives and processors. Much more work is required within the value chain, and in the establishment of significant markets arrangements for the domestic edible oils, but clear directions have been demonstrated.

Key Findings

The Programme:
•    Has been a very important intervention, and pilots clear directions forward for the edible oil seed sector.
•    Has shown the significance of taking a value chain approach.
•    Has achieved specific results, as planned, within a constrained timeframe and budget.
•    Has delivered visible change in production and processing practice, and in market linkages.
•    Has demonstrated the importance and effectiveness of the involvement of national, regional and local government, as well as private sector actors in addressing the needs and future directions of the sector. The strong leadership on the government’s side ensured a more strongly correlated design (related to the value chain), a tighter logic to the results framework and a drive to the programme throughout implementation.
•    Requires a much more significant time frame and budget to consolidate the achieved results, and to ensure the on-going nature of change in the sector.
•    Demonstrates the effectiveness of a cluster approach, with specific reference here to the value of involvement of the Ministries, Bureaus, Universities and Municipalities. The cluster methodology added value to Programme implementation – the effectiveness of coordination, communication and ‘whole of value chain’ engagement contributed specifically to the Programme’s success.
•    A scaling-up of the Programme is required to consolidate the change that has been demonstrated. It can be argued that the Programme demands scaling-up, given the clearly effective approach it demonstrates, and the potentially significant results for the sector, and Ethiopia generally.

The Evaluation

The evaluation was undertaken during June and July of 2013 by Jim Newkirk.