ETHIOPIA – Ethiopia is determined to produce over 800 million quintals (80MT) of grain this year, marking a significant increase in agricultural output.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed told the House of People’s Representatives while responding to questions posed by the representatives on November 4.

According to the Minister, the agricultural sector grew 6.3 percent last year, with crop production rising 7.1 percent.

“We have cultivated over 20 million hectares and harvested more than 600 million quintals,” the prime minister said.

In addition, the minister noted that this year, the government aims to cultivate 22 million hectares, which would enable the country to surpass 800 million quintals in production.

 “Our winter harvesting thus far indicates we can achieve this target.”

Ahmed emphasized that putting 2 million new hectares under cultivation will greatly boost overall agricultural production and support the country’s goals for job creation, improved livelihoods, and economic growth.

The Prime Minister urged continued efforts to build on the early successes in the agricultural sector. “For our farmers to succeed, all of us in government must work hard,” he said.

According to the premier, the Home Grown Economic reform has brought concrete achievements in terms of enhancing productivity in all the economic sectors including agriculture.

Over the past five years, the country was able to register double GDP growth by overcoming manmade and natural challenges through the government’s appropriate policy, he indicated.

Ethiopia to hit targets in summer wheat development activities

Earlier, the Minister revealed that the government also plans to cultivate 3 million hectares of wheat during the summer season.

According to him, Regional States have resolved to fulfill their plans to promote the production and productivity of wheat during the summer farm season by providing all the necessary inputs required.

In line with the government’s strategic move, last month, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched this year’s summer national wheat cultivation program in the Afar regional state.

It was indicated during the occasion that the target for this Ethiopian year’s summer wheat cultivation would be three million hectares, which is 1.7 million more than last year’s. The land cultivated last Ethiopian year was 1.3 million hectares.

According to the information released by the Ministry of Agriculture, to date, more than 1.1 million hectares of land have already been cultivated for wheat production. Out of this, half a million hectares of land has already been seeded.

Speaking recently at the startup ceremony, the Head of Amhara Region Bureau of Agriculture with the portfolio of Vice President, Dr. Derres Sahilu remarked that efforts are being made to compensate for the loss incurred due to the effects of climate change and security challenges by focusing on summer wheat production in the region.

He added that the regional Bureau is coordinating access to tractors and combine harvesters for farmers and to use all available water resources to ensure food security in the region.

According to him, the country plans to cultivate more than 250, 000 hectares of land and produce more than 9.5 million quintals of wheat this year.

Derres stated that although the Amhara Region has the capacity to cultivate more than 2 million hectares of land to be covered with wheat, due to the current challenges and lack of viable irrigation technologies in the region, the number of land to be cultivated for wheat production was lower than originally anticipated.

However, the head of the farming sector at the South Ethiopia Bureau of Agriculture, Admasu Awoke stated that all efforts are being exerted to utilize available capacity in agriculture to come up with better results in the cultivation and production of summer wheat in the region.

He noted that over the current year, more than 125,000 hectares of land have been prepared for cultivation by irrigation schemes to offset over-dependence on rain fed agriculture.

Out of the 125,000 hectares, more than 8,700 hectares will be cultivated with wheat, Admasu added.