ETHIOPIA – Ethiopia has embarked on an aggressive agricultural expansion drive with Agricultural Businesses Corporation (EABC) committing to distribute 253,000 quintals (25,300 tonnes) of seeds this coming season, ENA has reported.
The Ethiopian Agricultural Businesses Corporation (EABC) is a public enterprise established in December 2015 that provides agricultural inputs and technologies to improve production and productivity.
It is also mandated to boost modern farms and agro-industries at a very competitive price to facilitate the economic development of Ethiopia.
According to the corporation, the seeds can withstand recurring crop diseases and varying environmental conditions based on their research.
Among the earmarked seeds are corn, wheat, barley, sorghum, teff, rice, cabbage seeds, lentils, soybeans, beans, chickpeas, and flax.
Speaking to ENA, Feleke Gezahegn, EABC Deputy CEO said that the corporation is breeding 69 seed varieties from 26 crops in its five centers, on contracts and farmers’ fields.
He added that the corporation is working to produce 30,000 tonnes to cover 15,000 hectares for this season but only this far 25,300 tonnes are ready to distribute to farmers.
Besides providing the seeds, the corporation also intends to provide training on seed production technology to seed-breeding farmers, agricultural experts, and investors engaged in the sector.
The move follows the recent declaration by the Ministry of Agriculture that the country has achieved wheat self-sufficiency after harvesting over 110 million quintals (11 million tonnes) of the crop.
Japan grants Ethiopia US$25M
Meanwhile, as the country seeks sustainable solutions for food security and human well-being, it has been granted close to 25.4 million USD by the government of Japan.
The grant is envisioned for the development of safe water supplies in the Oromia and Amhara regions and fertilizer provision in the country.
The grant was signed by Ito Takako, Japan’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, and Ethiopia’s Finance State Minister Semereta Sewasew.
According to the agreement, over 20 million USD of the grant will be allotted for the development of safe water supplies in the regions, and the remaining sum for fertilizer provision to farmers
According to Ambassador Ito Takako, the grant is in line with Japan’s commitment at the 8th Tokyo International Conference on African Development held last August in Tunis, which confirmed its effort to support achieving food security in African countries
Government offers US$391M for fertilizer subsidy
Further, in a move to increase production, the ministry of agriculture has announced that the government has subsidized 21 Billion Birr (US$391M) for fertilizer subsidy during this crop season.
The announcement was made by Girma Amente, the Minister of Agriculture while briefing journalists about the activities to supply the market with agricultural inputs and machinery.
According to him, 12.8 million quintals (1.28M tonnes) of fertilizer have been bought as part of the subsidy. He added that the move intends to alleviate the burden of farmers facing a sharp increase in inputs due to the Russia-Ukraine war.
Hopefully, the government expects that the subsidy will significantly increase production and productivity, adding that efforts are also underway to avail improved seed and agrochemicals.