Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ethiopian farmers to get market boost through irrigation project

Farm under irrigation in Ethiopia
Ethiopian farmers will benefit from a multi-million irrigation scheme in a value chain improvement project.
The  CAD 19.26 million will directly and indirectly benefit more than 200,000 households engaged in livestock and irrigated agriculture, improve the skills of over 5,000 public service staff, and work with 2,100 value chain input and service suppliers at district, zone and federal levels.
The new research for development project named Livestock and Irrigation Value chains for Ethiopian Smallholders – LIVES was launched today by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), both members of the CGIAR Consortium.
It seeks to directly support of the Government of Ethiopia’s effort to transform smallholder agriculture to be more market-oriented.
“This project is unique in that it integrates livestock with irrigated agriculture development and is designed to support the commercialization of smallholder agriculture by testing and scaling lessons to other parts of Ethiopia,” LIVES project manager, Azage Tegegne emphasized .
The manager added that it will be an excellent opportunity for CGIAR centres to work hand in hand with Ethiopian research and development institutions.”
During the launch the Ethiopian State Minister of Agriculture Wondirad Mandefro welcomed the project as a direct contribution to both the Growth Transformation Plan (GTP) and the Agricultural Growth Program (AGP) of the Ethiopian Government.
“We expect this investment to generate technologies, practices and results that can be implemented at larger scales and ultimately benefit millions of Ethiopian smallholder producers as well as the consumers of their products,” Canadian Head of Aid, Amy Baker
Canada which funds the project expect it to contribute to Ethiopia’s efforts to drive agricultural transformation, improve nutritional status and unlock sustainable economic growth through creation of  new and innovative partnerships that will drive agricultural growth.
The project will take place over six years in 31 districts of ten zones in Amhara, Oromia, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples and Tigray regions, where 8% of the country’s human population resides to improve the incomes of smallholder farmers through value chains development in livestock (dairy, beef, sheep and goats, poultry and apiculture) and irrigated agriculture (fruits, vegetables and fodder).
"Projects that support local farmers can help a community in so many ways; not only by providing food and the most appropriate crops, but also by teaching long term skills that can have an impact for years to come," said Canada Minister of International Cooperation the Honourable Julian Fantino.
The project will focus on clusters of districts, developing and improving livestock production systems and technologies in animal breeding, feed resources, animal nutrition and management, sustainable forage seed systems, sanitation and animal health, and higher market competitiveness.
The launch was also attended by Canadian Ambassador to Ethiopia David Usher, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and several Ethiopian government institutes.
©Manuel Odeny

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