Gov’t to Distribute over 124,000 Hectares for Youth Irrigation Development Projects

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Addis  Ababa, January 25/2020 (ENA) The Government of Ethiopia has plans to distributed over 124,000 hectares to youth for irrigation development in the coming three years.

Irrigation Development Commissioner Mikael Mehari told ENA that about five thousand youth drawn from different parts of the country have up to now received training to irrigate land around some sugar projects in the country.  

The trainees are youth graduates in agriculture and other related fields of study that will cultivate lands around Tendaho, Kesem, Omo Kuraz and Tana Beles sugar projects.

Recruitment of additional youth is underway in other places and land obtained in Oromia, Afar, and Somali regional states, he added.

According to Mikael, the objectives of the scheme are to create jobs and enhance irrigation by deploying trained human resources for the productivity of the sector.

Efforts are underway to organize enterprises, facilitate loan and prepare business plans in collaboration with the National Bank of Ethiopia and the Development Bank of Ethiopia, the commissioner stated.

Draft documents for developing irrigation around river corridor are finalized and ready for discussion with stakeholders in order to utilize the resources based on researches and studies  on river basins across the country next Ethiopian year.

Though the focus is now on distributing land for irrigation around sugar projects, the scheme  which started last Ethiopian year will additionally use ground water with low cost of   irrigation, Mikael elaborated.

Even if Ethiopia is endowed with ample water resources with 12 river basins with an annual runoff volume of 122 billion cubic meters of water and an estimated 2.6-2.65 billion cubic meters of groundwater potential, only about 12 million hectare  is cultivated agricultural land.