EATA Working to Compensate for Agricultural Production Gap in Parts of Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa Sebtember 1/2021 (ENA) Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (EATA) said it is working to compensate for the production gap that could follow the instabilities in Tigry Region, Northern and Eastern parts of Amhara Region as well as Northern Afar Region.

Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency Director-General, Mandefero Negusse told ENA that transportation of agricultural inputs this harvesting season as well as related activities have been seriously affected in some parts of the country.

Therefore, the agency has prepared long-term and short-term recovery plan for the areas  affected due to instability, he added.

“If peace returns within a short period of time, the agency plans to cultivate crops ike chickpea and vetch, which could be cultivated at the end of the rainy season,” he pointed out.

The agency has already set agricultural recovery plan for Tigray Region, he said, adding that same would be done for Amhara and Afar regions.

According to the director-general, the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency standby to provide all the necessary support for farmers to enable them cultivate as soon peace is restored.

If the war takes a long time, however, irrigation development would be used widely before the use of underground water in utilizing technology with the view to enhancing the production of irrigation by twofold, Mandefero elaborated.

He further noted that the sector had faced challenges such as COVD-19 and fall army worm a year ago. However, the sector was not highly affected as the agriculture development is not owned by few but many farmer household that occupy massive land.

“We have to change the challenges into opportunities by enhancing production in the sector,” the director-general, pointed out, adding that rice and soybean development around Lake Tana, among others, is facing challenges.

Boosting wheat production, oil crops and widening poultry farms are among the plans set to achieve food self-sufficiency, according to Mandefro.

Surplus wheat production can also be an input for the widely expanding agro-processing industry across the country. This in turn plays its role in achieving the nation’s food supply, he explained.

Similarly, increasing oil crops is part of the plan to substitute importing oil products with high foreign currency, he stated, adding that poultry farming is also part of the plan that plays a significant role in achieving the grand plan.

“Whatever the case, the nation needs to be food self-sufficient by utilizing its resources, experience and knowledge; not only to avoid dependency on imported wheat but also to export to other counties,” the director-general, stressed.

Ethiopia has been importing on average 10-15 million quintals of wheat, that is about 300-400 million USD annually.

About 50 million quintals of wheat is harvested annually in the country, but falls short of meeting the 60-65 millions quintals demand