Ethiopia’s Ministry of Agriculture announced plans to irrigate 1.2 million hectares of land until September 2020. This shall enable Ethiopia to harvest 120 million quintals of crops and vegetables.
“At present about 836,000 hectares of land are covered with various crops and vegetables in cooperation with agriculture extension workers and farmers,” said Germame Garuma, Agriculture Extension Director-General at the Ministry.
By irrigating 1.2 million hectares of land, over 120 million quintals of crops and vegetables would be collected, Mr. Germame pointed out.
Taking part in the irrigation development will be 2.1 million farmers, of which at least 300,000 are women.
“The awareness, knowledge and practice of farmers about irrigation have been increasing from year to year,” the director-general noted. “Irrigation has now become business, in addition to [serving as a tool of] ensuring food security.”
Mr. Germame also said the Ethiopian government is working to improve the livelihood of communities through advancing irrigation schemes and promoting technology in the sector.
As to the provision of inputs for farmers, he stated that efforts have been underway to supply fertilizers, seeds, and chemicals. So far, 700,000 quintal fertilizers, over 471,000 quintal seeds as well as 93,000 liters of chemicals have been distributed, according to him.
The unseasonal rainfall is a great advantage for irrigation development, Mr. Germame said, adding that farmers are seizing the opportunity to effectively benefit during the major crop season. On the other hand, efforts have been exerted to create market chains among farmers and cooperative unions.
In a related note, the Ministry of Agriculture has opened an irrigation pump and engine testing center, which is expected to aid the whole effort of irrigation.