ethiopia school gathering

Report | 2020

Capturing the Productive Use Dividend

Valuing the Synergies between Rural Electrification and Smallholder Agriculture in Ethiopia

By Edward BorgsteinDawit MekonnenKester Wade
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Rural electrification of agriculture in Ethiopia is an important part of a resilient response to and recovery from economic devastation wrought by COVID-19 and the East Africa locust infestation.

New RMI analysis demonstrates a US$4 billion economic case for a national program in Ethiopia to promote the productive uses of electricity by examining six key agricultural value chains: irrigating horticulture, grain milling, injera baking, bread baking, milk cooling, and coffee washing.

electrification targets chart

RMI’s new insight brief explores the opportunity for mutually assured success among agricultural transformation and rural electrification efforts. In collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); the Ethiopian Ministry of Water, Irrigation, and Energy (MoWIE); and the Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), RMI’s new brief outlines the synergies between rural electrification and agricultural productivity, processing, and businesses, and the value that can flow from closely linking the two.

Now more than ever, Ethiopia must undertake these efforts in order to increase resilience in the country’s economy, create opportunity for a large number of farmers, and build off-grid energy systems to provide universal electricity access.