A joint research activity of: Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation Grain Marketing Research Project/ Michigan State University. Ethiopia, one of the most densely populated countries in Africa, faces increasing food insecurity unless it can dramatically boost agricultural productivity per hectare. In 1993, the Sasakawa/Global 2000 Program (SG2000) began work in Ethiopia in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture's Department of Extension and Cooperatives (MOA). The objective of their joint program was to demonstrate the productivity increases that could be achieved when farmers were provided with appropriate research messages, adequate extension assistance, and agricultural inputs such as improved seed, fertilizers and agrochemicals, delivered on time at reasonable prices (SG2000 1996). The MOA/SG2000 program provided participating farmers with improved inputs on credit in amounts that were sufficient for one-half hectare demonstration plots. Farmers also received intensive assistance from extension agents. Participants agreed to provide land for the demonstration plot and to pay a 25-50% down payment on the input package before planting, with the balance due after harvest. In 1995, the MOA/SG2000 demonstration program reached more than 3,500 farmers in 4 regions. During the same year the MOA launched the New Extension Program (NEP) funded and managed independently of the MOA/SG program, but based on SG2000 principles. By 1997, the NEP was managing the bulk of the demonstration plots (about 650,000) as the MOA/SG program reduced its direct participation in the demonstration program to about 2,000 plots.


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