ETBC warehouse (Photo File)

Japan Hands over 5,700mt Rice to Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA – Authorities on Tuesday received close to 5,700 metric tons of rice procured through Japanese grants under the ‘Food Assistance Program.’

The Embassy of Japan says the rice was brought in “with a view to increasing food supply” to communities affected by drought and floods.

The two grants that funded the procurement of rice worth $5.5 million were signed in 2021 and 2022.

On Tuesday, Japan’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Ito Takako handed over the rice to State Minister of Finance Semereta Sewasaw on the premise of the Ethiopian Trading Business Corporation (ETBC) warehouse.

The ETBC, a public enterprise tasked to stabilize the local market through the supply of consumer commodities, will distribute the rice.

“It is my hope that through ETBC this Japanese rice will be distributed to Ethiopian people in need as soon as possible, reducing the need to import rice from abroad,” Ambassador Ito said at the handover ceremony.

The latest support has brought the volume of Japanese-funded food assistance to Ethiopia in the past year to more than 14,000mt.

According to Ambassador Ito, Tokyo provided 7,600 emergency food aid to drought-hit communities in the Somali region in July.

It also gave additional 1,093mt specialized nutritious food in March for children and lactating women in the country. Both supports were made through the World Food Program (WFP).

Tokyo will continue to support Ethiopia’s development efforts through various Japanese Assistance Projects as well as through other modalities of assistance, the embassy of Japan says.

Japan has been actively supporting the development of Ethiopia in the fields including agriculture.

Rice production in particular has been one of the main pillars of Japanese assistance since 2015.

Ambassador Ito expressed her “ardent wish” that the cooperation “will increase rice production across Ethiopia and contribute to ensuring food security”.