Wheat Importation to be Cut by More than Half, Says Agriculture Minister

Addis Ababa December 30/2020 (ENA)  Ministry of Agriculture announced that the wheat, which is being cultivated through irrigation this Ethiopian year, will reduce the import of wheat by more than half.

This was disclosed by Agriculture Minister Umer Hussen during a discussion with members of House of People's Representatives.

Ethiopia has been importing 17 million quintals of wheat in a year.

According to the minister, the harvest expected from 300,000 hectares of land this year would help produce 10 million quintals.

Even if it was possible to get more produce this harvest season, the flooding in Afar Region obstructed the effort to meet the target, he added.

Some 90,000 hectares of irrigated land has been covered with wheat, the minister said, adding that best seed, chemical, fertilizer supplies have been properly provided.

Currently, efforts are also being exerted to fully stop wheat importation within three to five years, Umer revealed.

He stated that substituting imported wheat through promoting irrigation saves foreign currency,  and has created high motivation among farmers and pastoralists.

In related news, locust prevention activities are being carried out in 18 zones of Somali, SNNPR and Oromia regional states, the minister said.

Some 13 airplanes are monitoring the locust and spraying chemicals, Umer said, adding that  vehicle and labor force have also been used.

Currently, the dessert locust is spreading in Kenya, Somalia and Southern parts of Ethiopia.

Ethiopian News Agency