16 May 2018

Ethiopia Ramping Up Agricultural Mechanization

Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock disclosed that it has been working to enhance the mechanization of the agriculture sector in a bid to increase national food production and ensure food security.

Senior Mechanization Expert with the Ministry Tamrat Yohannes told The Ethiopian Herald that the consolidated efforts are underway to augment the use of technologies to transform the agriculture sector and create a suitable environment for sustainable economic growth.

As to him, mechanization is very important as it boosts agricultural productivity, reduces product wastages, enhances productivity and quality yields, and in general enables farmers to get an adequate number of products in small farmlands in a short period of time with a little cost and labor.

Tamerat said: "Taking in to consideration the above fact, Ethiopia has been implemented agricultural mechanization strategy since 2014 and the government set different structures for the effective implementation of the strategy."

Moreover, given that it is impossible to achieve mechanization without new technologies, there are now agricultural financial institutions like farmers' cooperative union and associations, which provides credit for agricultural input to farmers. Also, nowadays, farmers training center are popping up throughout the country to increase the awareness of farmers on the utilization of new agricultural technologies, the expert stressed.

He further indicated that by using modern technologies farmers are enhancing their productivity and exporting different agricultural products. Case in point, he mentioned farmers in Arsi and Bale zone of Oromia State, who increased their productivity and can be considered as model farmers. "Behind the success of these two zonal farmers, there is a proper utilization of mechanization strategy."

"As a future direction, the Ministry plans to increase the supply of agricultural technologies by allowing custom-free importation of inputs," Tamrat opined. Furthermore, to solve farmer's shortage of different technological inputs, the Ministry has organized unemployed youths to supply agricultural inputs for farmers with affordable price, he added.

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