Two NIRAS experts have taken up long-term spots in the AgroBIG programme while another NIRAS-team will help Ethiopia build up its land administration.
NIRAS further strengthened its position in Ethiopia this summer, as the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland awarded the company two long-term contracts. Both are the most recent initiatives in a long history of bilateral cooperation between the governments of Ethiopia and Finland, with the grant from Finland for the projects totaling 16,5 million €.
NIRAS is going to help implement the second phase of REILA (Responsive and Innovative Land Administration Project), which enhances and scales up land registration and certification processes begun in the first phase.
REILA aims to improve the economic well-being of the rural population through promotion of sustainable land management practices. The end goal is for people in rural Ethiopia to enjoy land tenure security and empowerment through participatory land use management, as well as to reduce land degradation.
NIRAS also won the second phase of AgroBIG (Agro-Business Induced Growth), which will run until 2021. The second phase of AgroBIG will build on the successes of phase one, which developed market-oriented farming around Lake Tana.
The second phase will shift attention from production-level constraints and focus on value adding, job creation and creation of sustainable market links. AgroBIG will also continue to improve access to finance for producers, and as a new feature, this phase will have a loan window addressing youth and women in particular.
Two in-house staff members from NIRAS Finland have been deployed to Ethiopia as part of the AgroBIG TA team. Meeri Komulainen, experienced team leader in agribusiness projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, is the Chief Technical Advisor, and Katja Kuivanen has been appointed Junior Expert in M&E and communications. Both women have a background in agriculture and rural development and were closely involved in preparing the winning tender.