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Ethiopia: ATA victorious the Mercy Corps AgriFin ALE Awards 2021

Press Release

Addis Ababa, April 28, 2021: The Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) has received two
awards in two categories at the Agri Fin ALE Awards 2021. The awards were under the category “Use of
Digital Data to Serve Smallholders” and “Innovations in Public-Private Partnerships Benefiting Smallholder
Farmers”.

Under the first category, “Use of Digital Data to Serve Smallholders” the ATA in collaboration with Dalberg
and Mercy Corps Agrifin Teams was able to create the ATA Data Hub which consolidates all existing data
sources from the ATA into the Data Hub. By doing that the ATA was able to utilize the data from seven
different ATA projects for more comprehensive analysis and decision making. The ATA Data Hub was also
utilized to further support the ATA’s Agriculture Commercialization Clusters of 2.5 Million Farmers,
develop more detailed farmer profiles, and position the Data Hub as an open resource that can be
leveraged by government ministries, private sector partners and other stakeholders in a variety of ways.
“This recognition will serve as a big boost for the Ethiopian agriculture and for the agency as it recognizes
the works, we are doing to help the smallholder farmers we strive to serve.” ATA CEO Dr. Mandefro
Nigussie said. “Having a tool such as 8028 which is the biggest IVR system in Africa and other similar tools
such as the National Market Information System (NMIS), backed by various partnerships with various
stakeholders will help assist the relentless works that are being done to improve the sector.” Dr. Mandefro
also added.

The second category “Innovations in Public-Private Partnerships Benefiting Smallholder Farmers” was
won for the works done in collaboration with stakeholders and partners such as MoA, Mercy Corps,
Turn.io, WFP, FAO, and Plant Village by using the 8028 Farmer’s Hotline, and elocust3m tools for
conducting surveys for identifying and locating the occurrence of the Desert locusts, and sending out an
alert to inform or warn farmers in the nearby woredas or kebeles based on the predicted movement of
the Locust.

Director of ICT for Agriculture at the ATA, Temesgen Gebeyehu for his part said “Over the past few years,
the 8028 farmer’s hotline has been steadily growing and has been providing crucial information to
farmers. In addition to providing support to fight off Desert locust, the platform has also been conducting
voice and SMS based survey for identifying the presence of crop disease and pest infestations such as
Wheat rust, Maize lethal necrosis, fall army worm and others” Temesgen also added “the platform has
also been providing an important information to smallholder farmers, Development agents, and
agricultural experts so that they can use to break the spread of these diseases. 8028 Farmers Hotline
basically provides advisory services to smallholders’ farmers on Agronomy, livestock, and Covid-19
responses.

Launched in February 2014 in four regions, the 8028 Farmers’ Hotline currently runs on 210 phone lines
and is available in five languages. The service recently surpassed the 48 million calls mark from 5.5
million registered callers.

About Ethiopian Agriculture Transformation Agency
The Ethiopian Agriculture Transformation Agency (ATA) is an initiative of the Government of Ethiopia
(GOE) established in 2010. The aim of the Agency is to promote agricultural sector transformation by
supporting existing structures of government, private sector and other non-governmental partners to
address systemic bottlenecks in delivering on a priority national agenda for achieving growth and food
security.

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