Gov’t to expand cluster farming for economic independence


A delegation comprising of leaders of states and city administrations and led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) had headed to East and West Arsi and East Shewa zones of Oromia State this week to visit agricultural developments.

The government of Ethiopia has been working to enhance food security, import substitution and export augmentation of agricultural products through expanding cluster farming. Farmer Solomon Lema has witnessed a remarkable increment of agricultural productivity in his vicinity since the onset of the implementation of cluster farming. He said that farmers like him have become able to secure huge amount of products by abandoning smallholding.

“The cluster farming is crucial since it enables farmers to work together for better yield. It is also important for better access to market. But we are still abused by market manipulators. The government needs to intervene to ensure rule of law in the area. We need the support of the government to acquire additional agricultural technologies for increased productivity in the field,” he said.

The farmers who attained surplus agricultural product ought to share with people who need support, according to Prime Minister Abiy. One of the important culture or “gift” of farmers is sharing what they have with others. Therefore farmers need to preserve this culture, he added.

Ethiopia is striving to achieve development in various sectors including agriculture, industry, and tourism among others. The time is now to Ethiopia to revive and ward off obstacles of development including the external pressures that intended to get the country on its knees. But realizing prosperity requires a consolidated effort from all Ethiopians looking forward to a common goal, Abiy said.

“We have abundant natural resource that can bolster economic growth if wisely utilized. All regional states must have the understanding on addressing product shortages through working and cooperating with each other especially in creating market access among them. We need to cut the invisible hands of market manipulators.”

If all states produce at least 30 to 40 percent of wheat using cluster farming in the next two crop years, the country will be able to stop importing. And the same is true for other agricultural products. The problem of our country emanates from importing agricultural products mainly, wheat, the premier stated.

“If we substitute wheat importation, we will alleviate at least 70 percent of our problems related to external pressures and health issues. All states must apply cluster farming by drawing lessons from their brothers in Oromia. There is a wide local market. If we provide it with the needed supply, then, we can turn our faces to the global market.

 Our farmers must employ their capital on technologies that help increase productivity, he said.

As to him, Ethiopia will flicker a light of prosperity on its horizon and that of the continent. Any Super power with vanity may wave his finger and try to pressurize Ethiopia but nothing can stop this land from realizing prosperity. But, this is only achieved by the effort of all citizens, according to Abiy.

It has now become obvious that the country will see a glamorous future of development if the government and all stakeholders join hands to expand cluster farming. However, the government ought to practically respond to the demand of the farmers to acquire agricultural technologies including machineries, said Hailemariam Desalegn former prime minister and member of the delegation.

Similarly, State Minister of Finance Eyob Tekalign (PhD) noted that his government will cooperate with all stakeholders to improve productivity in order to ensure economic independence. Efforts will be exerted to build the capacity of the farmer to make it self-sufficient in food. We have to strongly work together to respond to the public quest of reducing inflation. So that we will support the farmer, encourage investment and so on to increase productivity in order to reduce inflation and augment export. “I call up on all farmers and public servants to work doggedly to hold up the nation,” Eyob said.

The Ethiopian Herald October 17/2021

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