Ethiopians Motivating Enterprises to Rise in Trade and Agri-Business (EMERTA)

2016 - March 2023

MEDA’s EMERTA project worked to increase decent employment opportunities and the incomes of women and men in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia. The project improved the business performances of agricultural producers and of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that buy and supply inputs, equipment, and services. The project also supported business service providers, training institutions, and government bodies.


The EMERTA program bolstered decent work and incomes of women and men in Amhara, the businesses in agrifood and gemstones were able to blossom under MEDA’s support. We helped 16,172 individuals and companies, and created or sustained 9,228 decent jobs.



The “EMERTA” acronym stands for Ethiopians Motivating Enterprises to Rise in Trade and Agri-Business. The EMERTA project is based in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia.


The goal of the EMERTA project was to increase sustainable employment and income generation of women and men in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. Its focus was on the rice, vegetable, and gemstone sectors. 


The EMERTA project strived to benefit 16,000 women and men and over 275 small businesses in the Amhara Region.


More than 80% of Ethiopians live in rural areas where small-scale agriculture and artisanal mining activities are the dominant industries. Yet, despite the two industries’ importance, the sectors underperform. In the agricultural sector, the lack of modern machinery, seed systems, and agricultural techniques results in lower quality rice and vegetables. In the mining sector, workers face several challenges including a lack of modern techniques and machinery for production, undeveloped marketing systems, few quality inputs, and outdated gemstone sourcing and handling practices. 


EMERTA supported workers, farmers, and businesses in the rice, vegetable, and gemstone sectors. The project focused on the agriculture (rice and vegetables) and gemstones sectors to assist the Ethiopian government’s focus on driving economic growth (as identified in its Growth and Transformation Plan II). 

EMERTA also worked with local and national governments to foster policies that help small businesses to succeed. 


EMERTA strengthened the competitiveness and profitability of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). It achieved this by:

  • Identifying gaps and opportunities in value chains and encouraging market actors to take advantage of these opportunities.
  •  Using a business development approach that supports clients to overcome common challenges to achieve business success. 
  • Delivering impact by working with rural extension agents and Farming Training Centers (FTCs), in rural communities. These FTCs promote effective agronomic practices and provide women and men farmers with reliable market information. 
  • Including a gender and environmental sustainability focus in its work. This focus encourages more women farmers and workers to participate in the labor force and ensures that the work in these sectors is done in an environmentally sustainable manner. 

Our Cumulative Impact by FY2022


Direct Individuals


Direct Businesses


Direct Women Clients


Direct Youth Clients


Indirect Individuals


Indirect Businesses


Decent Work


Total Budget


This program was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through Global Affairs Canada.