ADDIS ABEBA – Danish Minister for Cooperation, Rasmus Prehn, visited development projects in Wukro Town of Tigray Regional State.
During his visit late last week, the minister was accompanied by Gebregziabher Gebreyohannes, Ethiopian State Minister of Agriculture, Khalid Bomba, CEO of the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), among others.
The high-level visit included site visits to an agricultural commercialization cluster (ACC) and an agricultural one-stop shop established with Agricultural Transformation Agency’s direct technical and financial support, according to ATA.
The projects are implemented by the Government in collaboration with ATA and other partners to transform the agriculture sector and benefit smallholder farmers.
Briefing the Minister on the agricultural one-stop-shop, Khalid said that this farm service business model has been tested globally and been proven to be an effective means to provide smallholders with a comprehensive outlet for farming inputs and support services. He underscored,
“The one-stop shops are empowering farmers and improving their productivity by providing quality agricultural inputs and services together with agronomic and veterinary consultations and trainings in a timely and affordable manner,” he underscored.
During the visit, the agricultural commercialization cluster wheat-producing farmers expressed the gains they have made through the input voucher system, which facilitates access to credit, and the ATA-run 8028 agricultural hotline.
The hotline provides access to best agronomic advice on cereals, horticulture, oilseeds, crops as well as a wide range of agriculture-related issues.
Prehn expressed his appreciation of the work that has been done to improve the capacity and lives of smallholder farmers.
“Now I see a better future for farmers, one where they can start not only thinking about how to survive but also one where they can start thinking about making strategies for the future, and have trust in the future,” he said.
He also confirmed Denmark’s commitment to support development projects such as the ones seen during the visit.