Connexus conducted a detailed crop value chain and market systems analysis in Ethiopia for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to guide their implementation of two USAID projects – Feed the Future Ethiopia Livelihoods for Resilience – Oromia (LRO), and USAID’s Office of Food for Peace-funded Development Food Security Activity (DFSA). The main objectives were to identify potential crop value chains, including the business opportunities, major constraints, and key actors, as well as to recommend strategies for developing and upgrading the value and market systems of the value chains.
Connexus facilitated a workshop with CRS to first narrow down potential crop value chains, and then ranked potential value chains based on nine indicators, including nutrition, profit potential, climate resilience, and youth/gender-friendliness. Connexus then conducted more than 60 field interviews and 14 focus group discussions with key actors in the potential value chains. In the end, the team identified wheat, maize, groundnuts, haricot beans, onions, cabbage, red chili peppers, and potatoes (regular and sweet) as potential crop value chains. The team also identified and addressed several major sectoral challenges preventing progress in all value chains and made recommendations to overcome them. A detailed final report was presented to project stakeholders and USAID with findings for each value chain and recommendations for upgrading strategies aimed at promoting linkages, knowledge sharing, and technology adoption.