Afar Region Gets 500 Water Pumps, 30 Tractors Support
ADDIS ABABA – The federal government has handed over 500 water pumps and 30 tractors to the Afar regional state to boost agricultural productivity in the region through irrigation.
The support is a part of the Ministry of Irrigation and Lowlands’ efforts to encourage agricultural mechanization in Ethiopia.
On Friday, Afar region’s chief administrator Awol Arba received the first round of farming technologies and tractors from Irrigation and Lowlands Minister Aisha Mohammed.
The support will play a critical role in the ongoing efforts to engage the Afar youth in the agriculture sector, said the Irrigation minister.
Awol Arba, for his part, said that the support will greatly help to increase productivity, especially in areas where water shortages and floods occur.
The region has the potential to develop more than 120,000 hectares of areas in the Middle Awash.
“We are optimistic that the regional governments will use this technology to enhance productivity,” said state minister of Irrigation Birhanu Megersa.
To date, the ministry has distributed about 4,000 water pumps to ten regions and the two city administrations in support of their winter irrigated wheat and vegetable production.
Its officials have also supplied tractors to three regions to encourage agricultural mechanization.
Despite its dependency on agriculture which contributes to 40% of the GDP, Ethiopia utilizes only five percent of its 21.8 million hectares (Mha) of cropland that could potentially be farmed through irrigation.