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Crop Protection. Post Harvest. Market Linkages. in Ethiopia.
Innovation Journey is matching Israeli innovation
with small-scale farmer market in Ethiopia

About us

The Innovation Journey program is an opportunity for cutting edge Israeli ag-tech companies and Ethiopian agriculture ecosystem stakeholders to engage with one another and explore partnerships for piloting innovative technologies, with the goal of bringing value to Ethiopia’s agriculture market and small/medium-scale farmers.

Selected Israeli companies will have the opportunity to:

  • LEARN about the agricultural ecosystem in Ethiopia and in emerging markets.

  • EXPLORE the specific market of small and medium-scale farmers.

  • DESIGN business models that are adjusted to the “Base of the Pyramid”

  • ENGAGE in dialogue with relevant partners in the field that are interested in collaborations 

  • RECEIVE a grant of $25K to initiate a partnership and pilot

For  Ethiopian counterparts, who choose
to engage in the program, we offer:


    relevant innovative technologies 

  • ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS through the incorporation of new technologies as
    part of your operations

  • LEARN how to work with
    Israeli tech companies

  • ENGAGE in dialogue with relevant partners in the field that are interested in collaborations 

  • RECEIVE a grant of $25K to initiate a partnership

The IJ is running under the JDC-TOV program, which works closely with small-scale farmers in Ethiopia to leverage Israeli technologies, such as drip irrigation, hybrid seeds, crop diversity, agronomic training, and access to finance to transform their lives and improve livelihoods.

While Israel is an international hub for agricultural technologies, renewable energy and innovation, there are few Israeli companies working in emerging markets. A key obstacle for Israeli entrepreneurs is a lack of access to local knowledge, networks, and operational experience. JDC's Innovation Journey, in partnership with the Israeli Ministry of Economy and the Pears Program for Global Innovation, seeks to bridge those gaps.

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The yearlong cohort will recruit Israeli companies that are developing novel agricultural technology products and services that can provide solutions for small-scale farmers. Innovation Journey will complement the dramatic expansion of the TOV program in Ethiopia as the program branches out with additional partners, works in more regions, and significantly expands its reach. Participating Israeli companies will be matched with local stakeholders in Ethiopia, and will receive training, guidance, and support to facilitate fruitful partnerships. 

The 2023 IJ focus topics are:

Every cohort of the Innovation Journey focuses on sub-sectors that enable more efficient matchmaking and increase probability for a successful collaboration.

Crop Protection


Post Harvest


Market linkages


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A set of strategies and measures employed to safeguard crops from threats of pests, disease, weeds and environmental stressors, throughout the plant’s whole growing cycle.

  1. Resilience to environmental stressors

  2. Weather intelligence

  3. Optimized Pesticide Spraying

  4. Pest and disease detection, monitoring systems and pest management

  5. BioTech pest solutions

  6. Plant-based crop protection

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Practices and processes taking place after crops are harvested and before they reach the consumer or market.

  1. Storage and cold chain management

  2. Extending shelf life

  3. Processing

  4. Packaging  

  5. Quality assurance and monitoring 

  6. Transportation

  7. Preventing decay in fresh produce

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The connection between the farmer and the customer or the offtaker which is made through a chain of different stakeholders.

  1. Online marketplaces and digital trading

  2. Crop management and quality control

  3. Mapping local food and farming systems

  4. Collaboration between value chain players

  5. Supply chain planning and management 

The Program in brief:

The Innovation Journey program is designed to facilitate mutual exposure and exploration of joint ventures based on a thorough understanding of the needs and realities on the ground in Ethiopia.

  • The Innovation Journey program has been active since 2019, with two cohorts in Ethiopia, and one in South Africa.

  • The current program will run during 2024, and will be spread over several months, with a very efficient and non time consuming process 

  • A cohort of around 20 Israeli companies will be selected to undergo a matchmaking process with Ethiopian counterparts. The matchmaking process will seek to pair Israeli solutions with Ethiopian counterparts to  address their pre-established needs and explore joint pilots

  • The formed Israeli-Ethiopian partnerships will receive fundraising mentorship and will be able to apply for a $25K grant towards their collaboration.

  • The program is led by the JDC (American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee), the world's leading Jewish humanitarian organization, in partnership with the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry, and carried out by Pears Program for Global Innovation, a non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to bridging between the Israeli innovation ecosystems and the needs of low and middle-income countries.

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The Process

The IJ program is designed to facilitate mutual exposure and exploration of joint ventures based on a thorough understanding of the needs and realities on the ground in Ethiopia.


Understanding the needs of our Ethiopia-based stakeholders:

We always start with understanding what is needed on the ground. The cohort of  Israeli companies will be constructed according to the needs and interests of our Ethiopian local stakeholders, to ensure maximal chances for a match for partnership

- preliminary process

Capacity building:

We build the capacity of both sides to engage and understand each other, in order to make sure that once preliminary interest is created, both parties have the tools necessary for implementation. This part includes teaching the Israeli companies about the Ethiopian context, helping adapt their products and business models, and providing Ethiopian stakeholders with the capacity to understand their Israeli counterparts

- 2 weeks


The program uses multiple methodologies for gradual and facilitated exposure of the Israeli and Ethiopian counterparts to one another, in order to ensure a seamless and efficient process. The matchmaking starts with the involvement of the program’s Ethiopian counterparts in the selection of the Israeli participants, and concludes with joint applications for the $25K grant, which opens an opportunity for deep acquaintance and trust building


Although we encourage Israeli and Ethiopian counterparts to put funding questions aside during initial discussions, we do make sure the issue is addressed, as we acknowledge it is a crucial part for the success of the partnership. In addition to applying for our $25K grant, participants  receive fundraising mentorship to help them analyze the various potential funding opportunities for their joint venture

What is expected from our Ethiopian counterparts:

(the stated time frames represent estimate for the time investment that may be required from the Ethiopian stakeholders and may vary according to the specific choices of each partner)



Designate a point of contact with relevant expertise to manage communication during the program


Introduce your activity in a session
with the Israeli participants

(1 hour)


Evaluate partnership proposals fromIsraeli participants

(2-3 hours)


Hold in-depth partnership discussions with Israeli counterparts

(2-4 hours)


If a partnership discussion is successful - design a project with Israeli counterparts, fundraise together (with mentor facilitation), and apply for a $25K grant.


(optional) Attend a capacity building session on partnership building with Israelis

(2-3 hours)


Chromepay- The Innovation Journey was a significant and consequential process that helped us to understand the potential of the Ethiopian market, providing a lot of critical tools and opening important doors to new customers and partners. Thanks to the program we understood how to work with the market, connected with some key partners to work with, and were able to build a strong team on the ground. Today Ethiopia is a market for our operations and we are running a pilot with iDE, a partner we met in the Innovation Journey, to digitize and create access to credit for farmers

Solidrip-  Before the Innovation Journey, SoliDrip targeted developed markets like Europe, North America, and Asia and provided solutions to enhance urban greening in the built environment.  Through the Innovation Journey, we realized that our products could have additional settings, significantly impacting small-scale farmers in South Africa's urban areas. With the fantastic partner we met in the program, the tools we received for market adaptation, and the JDC grant we received, we had everything we needed to pilot the technology and make it work for the local people.

Contact Info:

Kaleab Tadesse, JDC

Lior Refael, JDC

Yonatan Bukhdruker,

Pears Program for Global Innovation

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