Ethiopia’s Experience of Wheat Production Exemplary to African Countries: CIMMYT

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Addis Ababa February 21/2023 /ENA/ Ethiopia’s experience of wheat production and productivity is an exemplary for some African countries, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) said

A working group mechanization meeting, organized by the Green Innovation Centers (GIC) in collaboration with CIMMYT, is underway in Addis Ababa to promote the utilization of machines in agriculture to support agricultural modernization.

Agricultural Mechanization Expert with CIMMYT, Rabe Yahaya told ENA that Ethiopia is the largest wheat grower in Africa next to South Africa.

The demand for wheat in Ethiopia is quite important, he said, adding that Ethiopia imported around two million ton of wheat before COVID-19.

Following the war in Ukraine, there are shortages of grains, cereals like wheat and maize and other input like fertilizer, as a result of which, the government of Ethiopia is extensively working to increase productivity to become self-sufficient in wheat.

The average of household land in Ethiopia is 1.2 ha, he said, adding that if they use medium and large machinery, I think they can produce more and increase wheat production yearly, maybe by 3 tons to 7 ton per ha, Yahaya said.

Ethiopia has planned to harvest more than 52 quintals of wheat by developing 1.3 million hectares of farmland through irrigation during the current fiscal year.

The current wheat production in Ethiopia is expected to show a surplus of 32 million quintals from domestic consumption, it was learned.

It is to be recalled that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed recently launched national wheat export, saying: “we have made Ethiopia’s wheat export dream a reality."

According to the expert, CIMMIYT has played a great role in the wheat production of the country, making contribution to the improvement of self-sufficiency of wheat production through providing good seeds (germ plasm).

Of all wheat released varieties, around 70 percent are coming from the organization, noting that we do a great role here, he said.

“Ethiopia has an experience on wheat production that I think some countries can learn. But also may be the business model, if you look for example, the importation of tax free for all agricultural machineries, I think this is something that may be other country should apply.

In Ethiopia you have bureau of agriculture in every kebele or woreda. So, Ethiopia has a very strong extension system. I think that is something that some African countries should have in place if they want to reach smallholder farmers.”

Regarding to mechanization, he said that we are working closely with Ministry of Agriculture and other partners to improve the wheat production through good agronomic practices.

Mechanization is important to improve the productivity, precision, and timelines but also to reduce labor force.

For 50 years, CIMMYT has been using science to make a difference. CIMMYT’s research has helped tens of millions of farmers grow more nutritious, resilient and productive crops, using methods that nourish the environment and combat climate change.

Ethiopian News Agency
2023