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Ethiopia: World Bank Provides Support for Rural Development

June 22, 2006

WASHINGTON, June 22, 2006 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved today a US$54 million International Development Association credit* to the Government of Ethiopia to support rural development.  It is anticipated that, in coming months, additional financing for this project will be provided by other donors.
The Rural Capacity Building Project aims to strengthen the agricultural technology system, make it more responsive to clients’ needs, and enhance the capacity of producers to select economically viable technologies and practices
Through an Agriculture Technical Vocational Education and Training component, the project aims to upgrade the skills and human capital of the young rural labor force in Ethiopia. It will also improve productivity in rural areas in order to generate agricultural-led growth and increase the incomes of poor farmers.
The project will emphasize adoption of innovative practices, linking farmers to markets, enhancing women's participation and gender equality, mainstreaming in all aspects of the extension system, and supporting the emergence of non-public sector agricultural services. It also focuses on enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of the agricultural research activities in Ethiopia, as well as improving information and communication systems within the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Through this project, the Bank will assist Ethiopia in the Development of Agricultural Market Institutions by financing analytical work geared toward understanding and developing practical solutions for market constraints. It will also support the development of an Ethiopian Agricultural Commodity Exchange, and strengthen and develop sanitary and phytosanitary standards and the institutions needed to utilize them.
The Rural Capacity Building Project supports several goals of the Ethiopia Interim Country Strategy of enhancing pro poor growth through private sector development (particularly in agriculture), enhancing human development outcomes by providing governance through decentralization of public services, increasing agricultural productivity and reducing vulnerability.

Media Contacts
In Washington
Ana Luna
Tel : (202) 473 2907
In Addis Ababa
Gelila Woodeneh
Tel : (251-1) 662 77 00