29 December 2017

Ethiopia: 7 Million Farmers to Take Part in Irrigation

Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resource announced that more than seven million farmers would take part in irrigation development during the dry season this year.

Daniel Dentamo, Deputy Public Relations Head at the Ministry told The Ethiopian Herald that irrigation is one of the sectors that the government has given due attention on the effort to transform agriculture.

He said first round irrigation development was started in areas where the regular harvest has been already collected.

According to him, from the total 3.3 million hectares which is the national plan of the year, 1.5 million hectares of land has so far been covered with products using irrigation.

Horticultural irrigation products are expected to play significant role in fulfilling the demand and stabilizing the market in urban areas.

Daniel also said besides averting farmer's dependency on the annual seasonal rainfall, the rural youth population is expected to be major beneficiaries of the irrigation development.

He noted that since the youth is educated and keen to adopt new agricultural practices and technologies, it would be a possible mechanism to expand the lesson for other farmers who do not take irrigation as an alternative way of farming.

Particularly, the youth who live in Koqa Lake in the surrounding of Oromia State are provided with irrigation farm lands, tractors and water pumps which are part of the loan package from the revolving fund allocated.

He said the Ministry provided the youth with farming, harvesting techniques and is consulting them about market linkages.

In places where there is no free potential land for irrigation, the youth would get access to loans to farm their family's land which is usually deserted after the seasonal rainfall production.

"This way the youth could be role models for their families and they could inspire them to involve in irrigation," Daniel told The Ethiopian Herald.

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