The Ethiopia Government, in partnership with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), has set aside a $5 million kitty to buoy the productivity and sustainability levels of small-scale farming communities in the Horn of Africa country, through the supply of fertilizers and lime-crushing equipment in areas where erosion has made infertility and acidity major disadvantages.
The kitty, worth $5 million, will go to half-a-dozen states in Ethiopia, targeting 90000 beneficiaries who have had to seek their own private means to cope with the agronomic challenges of their areas.
The states that will be in for a share of the spoils include Tigray, Oromia and Amhara, among three others.
Upon its culmination, the funding impetus will have helped bring back to one-hundred percent yielding capacity, cereals and leguminous plants that perform well in the Ethiopian Highlands. Besides, the project is proposing to have an increment of 60% in the procurement of fertilizer products by the local population that depends on subsistence tilling of land.
A word about AGRA
The Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa has a far-reaching vision that seeks to edify the activity of subsistence farming, especially raising the abilities of the womenfolk of the continent who make most of the yields that support the respective domestic economies.
The organization helps such small-scale farming communities prosper by providing advice, of an agronomic nature, giving them access to the best seeds, as well as, providing other products that can bring about soil fertility all the time. The organization also gives market strategies to farmers, besides providing funds and enhancing distribution.
AGRA has also been instrumental in ensuring that the various countries where subsistence agriculture forms the bulk of the economy do propagate good storage paraphernalia.
AGRA has been working mainly in areas where it deems underutilized despite being potentially high-yield zones, besides striving to leave a mark in the more deprived ecological centers like the case of Ethiopia’s arid regions.
Agriculture stake in Ethiopia’s economy
As the above treatise already shows, Ethiopia is highly dependent on its agronomic activity for propping the economy. Agriculture alone represents 50% of the GDP, besides contributing almost 84% of the export base, with over eighty percent of the locals falling back on the sector for jobs.
The distribution, exporting and industrial output, including the making of food items are all offshoots of the larger agricultural sector, thus highlighting its importance in the country.
The major shortcoming of the sector is perpetual arid conditions as well as the depreciation in value of the soil as a result of pedantic and pastoral activities, besides charcoal-burning. Despite this conflict between fauna and flora, the cattle number in Ethiopia is without peer in Africa and is accordingly the reason why in the 2006-7 financial year, the sector represented 10.6 percent of the country’s proceeds from exports.
Though coffee is the elite perennial crop in the land, providing the highest grossing in forex returns, there are also staples like maize and beans, which have appeared as some of the plants that the AGRA-Government partnership is targeting.