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Ethiopia: Regional States Determined to Hit Targets in Summer Wheat Development Activities

Addis Ababa — Regional States have resolved to fulfil their plans in promoting production and productivity of wheat during the summer farm season by providing all the necessary inputs required.

Over the last three years, Ethiopia has registered remarkable results in strengthening summer wheat cultivation.

Pursuant to the special attention given by the government, efforts are continued to intensify the productivity of wheat.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had launched this year’s summer national wheat cultivation program in Afar regional state last month.

It was indicated during the occasion that the target for this Ethiopian year summer wheat cultivation would be three million hectares, which is 1.7 million more than last year’s. The land cultivated last Ethiopian year was 1.3 million hectares.

The projected output during the current summer wheat cultivation is estimated at more than 100 million quintals.

Speaking on the startup ceremony, Prime Minister Abiy stated that Ethiopia is endowed with vast expanse of arable land, enough human resource that can engage in the production of bumper harvest wheat.

According to the information release by the Ministry of Agriculture, to date more than 1.1 million hectares of land has already been cultivated for wheat production. Out of this, half a million hectares of land has already been seeded.

Officials from Oromia, Amhara and South Ethiopia Regional States told ENA that they are already getting ready to cultivate more than 2 million hectares of land earmarked for the cultivation and production of summer season wheat.

The officials from agriculture Bureau of the regions have stated that they are planning to use all possible water sources to produce more summer wheat meant not only for food security but also for exports on foreign markets.

Crop production Director at Oromia Bureau of Agriculture, Mustefa Hussien told ENA that efforts are underway to produce more wheat compared to the production secured over the previous year.

He indicated that farmers who have received selected seeds, fertilizers and other inputs have already started to cover their lands with seeds.

The Director added that so far more than 1 million hectares of land has been cultivated and preparations are already made to cover the lands with selected seeds.

Head of Amhara Region Bureau of Agriculture with the portfolio of Vice President, Dr. Derres Sahilu remarked that efforts are being made to compensate for the loss incurred due to the effects of climate change and security challenges by focusing on summer wheat production in the region.

He added that the regional Bureau is coordinating access to tractors and combine harvesters for farmers and to use all available water resources to ensure food security in the region.

According to him, this year it is planned to cultivate more than 250, 000 hectares of land and produce more than 9.5 million quintals of wheat.

Derres stated that although the Amhara Region has the capacity to cultivate more than 2 million hectares of land to be covered with wheat, due to the current challenges and lack of viable irrigation technologies in the region, the number of land to be cultivate for wheat production was lower than originally anticipated.

Head of farming sector at the South Ethiopia Bureau of Agriculture, Admasu Awoke stated that all efforts are being exerted to utilize available capacity in agriculture to come up with better results in the cultivation and production of summer wheat in the region.

He noted that over the current year more than 125,000 hectares of land have been prepared for cultivation by irrigation schemes to offset over dependence on rain fed agriculture.

Out of the 125,000 hectares, more than 8,700 hectares will be cultivated with wheat, Admasu added.

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