Ethiopia adopts wheat irrigation, ramps up fertilizer imports in bid to boost local production

ETHIOPIA – Ethiopia has embarked on an aggressive agricultural campaign seeking to raise the country’s wheat production in a bid to wean itself from exports which are increasingly becoming unreliable. 

The country has so far covered 450,000 of the cultivated 800,000 hectares of land with wheat seeds during this winter as part of the country’s wheat production irrigation scheme.

The move is among the country’s plans to increase local wheat output by 70% in 2022 as it cushions itself from import supply constraints due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

According to government data, the country imports about 27% of its grain requirements from Ukraine and 15% from Russia.

Besides the seasonal wheat production, Ethiopia is working to produce 52 million quintals of wheat production from cultivating 1.3 million hectares of land through winter irrigation.

Moreover, the head of pulse development at the ministry of agriculture, Esayas Lema says that the move also aims at responding to the local demand as well as targeting export to other regions.

To achieve their goal, the ministry of agriculture has continued to create awareness among farmers on the development of irrigated wheat as is reflected by the production and productivity booming simultaneously.

As pointed out by Esayas, utilization of technology, inputs, select seed supply and awareness creation for farmers have registered positive results.

Benishangul Gumuz, Gambella, and South West regions are also new areas for irrigated wheat production in the country, it was indicated.

Boost to wheat production as 218,894 metric tons of fertilizer expected at port Djibouti

In other news, Ethiopian Shipping and Logistic Service Enterprise (ELSE) has announced 218,894 metric tons of fertilizer for summer wheat production. The consignment is expected to reach the port of Djibouti within one month to support the ongoing wheat planting exercise.

Talking to ENA, Roba Megersa, Chief Executive Officer ELSE, said that the enterprise is carrying out its responsibility to provide effective transport and logistic service to its customers moreso the farmers.

Roba pointed out that the first ship loaded with fertilizers has already left Morocco while three ships loaded with some 218, 894 metric tons of fertilizer will dock in the port of Djibouti within a month.

The enterprise is exerting efforts to fulfill its responsibility for the realization of the government’s intensive program of summer wheat production by providing prompt transporting services of agricultural inputs, he added.

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