ADDIS ABABA – Djibouti has today revealed its intention to import wheat from Ethiopia as two countries’ officials begin discussing areas of cooperation to cement bilateral ties.
Djibouti’s Agriculture Minister Mohammed Awaleh told ENA that his country is following up the initiatives to boost wheat production in Ethiopia with a keen interest in imports.
The irrigation-based summer cultivation initiative has boosted Ethiopia’s wheat production, helping the nation to seize imports last year.
Authorities are now planning, apart from sustaining the import substitution, to begin exporting wheat to foreign markets in the current fiscal year.
The plan relies mainly on the outcomes of not only the off-season summer cultivation but also the cluster farming during the main season.
Agriculture Minister Oumar Hussain projects the annual wheat harvest to reach 152 million quintals as the nation plans to cultivate 450, 000 hectares of land expected through both irrigation and Belg rains this year.
– ‘Djibouti will be the first” –
Addis Ababa has already secured an agreement with Nairobi that will allow Kenya to import wheat from Ethiopia.
Djibouti’s Agriculture Minister said his country will be the first in line to buy the crop when Ethiopia begins exporting.
“Ethiopians are our brothers. When they produce enough wheat to export, Djibouti is interested in becoming the first buyer,” the Minister told ENA.
Awaleh further stated that Djibouti will “give priority to buying wheat from Ethiopia.”
“In the future,” he said, “we will work to carry out cross-border agricultural development in cooperation.”
– ‘Strengthening co-operation’ –
“We are countries with a long history. Our friendship is connected not only in the field of agriculture, but also by railways, ports, roads, and water supply,” he said ahead of the 16th Ethio-Djibouti ministerial joint commission meeting later this week.
Expert-level meeting of the Commission has already begun discussing various issues of common interest for cooperation today, according to Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign affairs (MoFA).
The two-day-long meeting is tasked to deliberate on a range of areas of cooperation between the two nations including political, economic, and transport and logistics issues.
The agreed minutes on the issues discussed during the two-day session will be presented to the ministerial meeting, set to start on Thursday, for inking agreements, according to MoFA.
Ethio-Djibouti Joint Ministerial Commission was established on March 21, 1981, and held its last meeting in Djibouti in 2019.