Addis Ababa ENA July 31/2019 Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) strives to expand and improve agricultural practice of market oriented food crops in the current harvest season.
Crop Development Director at the Ministry, Isaias Lema, told ENA that promoting market oriented crops is under spotlight of the ministry on the top of maximizing more harvest in the season.
He noted that the country has focused on improving the production of market oriented food crops since the past two years.
So far, there are only 130 Woredas throughout the country that have engaged on the production of market oriented food crops, he said, adding, “the ministry is working on to expand the figure by twofold”.
“The main focus in this season is scaling up our effort to promote the development of market oriented crops, so we planned to expand our Woredas that engaged on market oriented agricultural development to 300 Woredas,” he said.
The ministry has already trained farmers and extension workers to build their capacity on how to produce quality commercial crops, the Director pointed out.
In this regard sesame, chickpea, barley, wheat, corn and teff are selected as the major types of market oriented crops for the export market in the current harvest season, he said.
“Our main strategy is to enable our farmers to harvest considering the market and to be competitive in the market. We identified four types of crops namely; wheat, grain, corn and teff for industry and the market. We also selected Sesame, chickpea, and apricot for the export market,” the Director said.
According to Isaias, on the current harvesting season about 6 million hectares of land has already covered with crops.
He highlighted that the ministry has apportioned adequate agricultural inputs including better seed and fertilizer to the farmers, and is expecting to harvest 382 million quintals at the end of the season.
The ministry in collaboration with National Meteorology Agency updating farmers with the latest possible information of whether condition of the country, he said.
“We have established a task force with the National Meteorology Agency, so the task force meets on a weekly base and gives update information about the condition of the weather. Based on our update report, many parts of the harvesting area are receiving rain in a normal range,” the Director noted.
Cognizant the extent of smallholder commercialization and its contributing factors, Ethiopia is ,therefore, promoting the production of market-oriented crops as a means of improving smallholder farmers’ income and alleviating rural poverty.