Ethiopia: Agricultural Input Supply Tailored to Regions Objective Situation
Ethiopian economy has been dependent on traditional agriculture for centuries. However, from the last few years, farmers have begun utilizing the modern agricultural technologies to increase their benefits from the sector. They have shown incremental interest in the modern agricultural inputs especially during the summer season. Fertilizer has become farmers' day to day agenda as they have to prepare it before the sowing season.
The Ethiopian Agricultural Works Corporation was established to supply, produce and distribute agricultural input products and give agricultural mechanization service. In addition to this, it buys, produces and sells natural gum products inside and outside the country.
Farmers' in various parts of the country complained the scarcity of inputs supply though the concerned government bodies claimed that they are working strongly to adequately meet the demands. The Ethiopian Agricultural Works Corporation said, "The corporation will supply more agricultural inputs this year than the previous years."
As the corporation's data shows, till the end of June 2017 the corporation had purchased over one million tons of quality fertilizers with an outlay of Birr nine billion after conducting repeated soil compatibility test. Prior to procurement the products' quality was examined first by agricultural sector professionals before buying.
The corporation's general manager, Kefeyalew Berhanu, said the corporation has distributed 95 per cent of its plan this year. He added, "In the past, the distribution of agricultural inputs was less than eight hundred thousand metric tons. When compared with the past, the distribution rate shows a great difference."
According to Kefeyalew's report, the corporation has reached deal with ten transportation service providers to distribute the agricultural inputs to all parts of the country on time.
Kefeyalew also mentioned that fertilizers and select seeds in stock are reserved in case there might be unfavourable climate change. The other objective is to supply the demand that may appear after the regular season. He also added that follow up offices are organized in streets or kebeles to check the fair distribution of agricultural inputs.
After continuous soil tests, DAP is becoming out of use and is being replaced by organic compounds such as urea, NPS, NPSB and, NPS Zinc and Boron. Additionally, processed fertilizers are being imported to the country.
Seifu Assefa, Agricultural Inputs Sales Directorate Director at the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resource, says distributing fertilizers is not enough but it also requires consistent follow-ups. Furthermore, he emphasized that there are agricultural extension officers who check the proper usage of agricultural inputs at the streets/kebeles. They support farmers through giving awareness raising trainings on how to figure out the suitable type of fertilizer for a specific kind of soil and seed type.
By Tsegaye Tilahun