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Agricultural Innovators in Ethiopia: Lessons from the Food Security and Rural Entrepreneurship Innovation Fund

The Food Security and Rural Entrepreneurship (FSRE) Innovation Fund is a competitive fund that supports agricultural innovations in rural Ethiopia. It supports promising ideas that will develop into innovations that work in practice and that have the potential to boost food security and rural entrepreneurship. The FSRE Fund started in 2012 and has supported 75 innovation projects so far. The FSRE fund is financially supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN) in Addis Ababa. The Fund is managed by ICCO Cooperation on behalf of AgriProFocus. The Fund supports the development of the innovations, and AgriProFocus Ethiopia organizes learning and linking activities with the innovators. The inclusion of these activities is a unique feature of this Fund. The learning activities emphasize the need for the proper design of the innovation experiments, interpretation of the results, and learning from successes and failures. Similarly, linking up with peers and other interested entities is important for sharing the results of an innovation. This publication introduces how the FSRE Innovation Fund is organized, how it contributes to rural innovation in Ethiopia, its challenges, and its achievement.