Resilient Agriculture for Inclusive and Sustainable Ethiopian Food Systems (RAISE-FS) is a four year project (2021-2025) funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Addis Ababa and hosted by Stichting Wageningen Research Ethiopia, which is an international NGO based in Addis Ababa. With the vision of having a more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable food systems, the project strives to support efforts being undertaken to transform the Ethiopian food system.
Theory of Change
RAISE-FS adopts the food system approach as a Theory of Change , which helps in analysing
the drivers and food system activities that contribute to the transformation of the food system by addressing leverage points, resulting in increased productivity, enhanced value
chain performance, and improved human nutrition for food security while minimizing environmental impact and ensuring social inclusion.
The project aims to leverage transformation in Ethiopian food systems, covering the spectrum from food-insecure households and regions, to better-off households that are
food-secure and can realize production surpluses, towards commodity commercialization
efforts that contribute to rural and urban consumption demands and export.
At present, the project is up and running by focusing on three food systems in Ethiopia: low potential or food-insecure (non-commercial), high potential or moderately food-secure (semi-commercial), and commercial orientation. The areas chosen are representative of different environments, ranging from very low land areas below 600 meters to that of very highland elevations that reach over 3,500 meters above sea level.
The project specifically works to achieve five specifics interrelated
outcomes. The outcomes are:
- Social and economic empowerment of women and youth in food systems
- Efficient and environmentally sustainable production increased
- Sector performance and value chains enhanced
- Availability of safe and nutritious foods increased
- Enabling environment for system change enhanced
The project is in alignment with the Ethiopian government food system roadmap
and the Dutch government’s development assistance strategy-aid and trade policy.
The pathways of influence of RAISE-FS are linked to the role of Wageningen University Research (WUR) and its implementing partners as knowledge institutes that foster social and institutional innovations and contribute to the knowledge agenda, targeting Research for Food System Transformation (R4FST), which is oriented to:
- identifying testable innovations in policy, practices, and institutions
- testing and validation of relevant innovations together with local implementing partners
- demonstration of evidence of innovation,
- engage with collaborating and scaling partners for institutionalization and mainstreaming, and
- documenting lessons to contribute to science.
Building on the success of BENEFIT, RAISE-FS will also follow a commodity approach. Accordingly, spices and herbs, oilseeds, potato, pulses, poultry and food security crops have all been identified through a robust process and with the inclusion of a variety of stakeholders.
Partnership in RAISE-FS
RAISE-FS is currently working with Bahir Dar, Haramaya and Hawassa universities, and four research institutes. Also, the project collaborates with potential scaling partners. These are,
- The flagship projects of the Ministry of Agriculture: Productive Safety Net Programme, Agricultural Growth Program and Agricultural Transformation Institute;
- Development partners such as The Rural Economic Development and Food Security and the World Bank;
- For the commercial food system with both the public sector and the private sector, specifically with the private associations and the commodity platforms; and
- NGOs such as SNV, SHA, GIZ, IFDS.