Addis Ababa January 28/2019 Government need to implement incentives to adopt water lifting technologies which should be tailored to serve irrigation by siphoning water to lower levels, Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) disclosed.
Irrigation and Drainage Director-General at ATA, Seyoum Getachew, said understanding the scenario on ground and taking commercialized and smallholder irrigation separately is vital, “one size does not fit for all,” systems need to be tailored to serve irrigation development.”
“The government has already approved incentives to promote adopting of water lifting technologies like pumps but still it is not implemented, therefore, the government should push for implementation of tax exception for the irrigation related technologies,” Seyum stated.
“The supply chain and extension systems are tailored to serve rainfall agriculture, he pointed out, noting that “effective irrigation water management is crucial and the market issues need to be suitable for irrigation.”
ATA promotes private sector interventions, create jobs in districts, for maintenance service providers, manufacturers, well drillers and input dealers. “We do have over a million engine and manual pumps that require maintenance services.” he added.
ATA mainly works on small scale irrigation programs to benefit smallholder farmers at lower administrative levels.
“At the ATA we do have a five-year integrated shallow ground water irrigation project to cultivate 500 thousand hectares of land and benefit around 1 million smallholder farmers in 150 Woredas,” Seyum stated.
The Director-General said about 35,000 hectares of land will be cultivated this fiscal year in 45 Woredas on small scale irrigation.
Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity Communication Director, Buzneh Tolcha said irrigation based commercial development is open and ready for domestic and foreign investors in Ethiopia, but there are no prospective investors in the sector yet.
“The prevailing legal system does not restrict anyone to invest in the country’s irrigation development by fully acquiring the very requirements of the sector such as huge capital and qualified professionals are perceived as limitations,” he pointed out.
Six irrigation projects planned to be completed next year, “We set a plan to irrigate 165, 000 hectares of land, three sugar factories and benefiting over 100,000 farmers at the cost of 27 billion birr in total,” he said.
The Ministry, so far handed over irrigation projects to domestic contractors without bid but even government development organizations and others will formally compete with a bid in accordance to procurement procedures from now on, he added.
In his keynote address to the joint session of HPR and HF on October 8,2018, Ex-President Mulatu Teshome, said “Government will implement the necessary economic measures to ensure sustainable economic growth mainly in the agriculture sector by giving priority to irrigation development and encouraging involvement of private sectors.