The focal point persons for Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) in the region have visited Oromiya Regional State in Western Shawa region in Ethiopia to learn about the implementation of the programme in the country.
During the visit, the delegates were informed by the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture, Planning and Programming Director, Mr Zena Habtewold who is the CAADP Focal Point for Ethiopia, that the Agriculture Growth Programme (AGP) was aligned to the CAADP agenda in Ethiopia within the Policy Investment Framework (PIF).
He said the objectives of the AGP are aligned to the four CAADP Pillars which include: land and water management, increased food production to improve food and nutrition security, infrastructure development and agricultural research.
Mr Habtewold added that the farmers have been taught to adopt conservation farming to adapt to climate change and to grow different varieties of crops to improve on nutrition. Another centre visited was the Beyo Burbi Farmer’s Training Centre, where the farmers are taught how to increase food production by growing locally tested varieties of crops which include different varieties of wheat and beans.
Mr Ticha Fita, a farmer and beneficiary of the government’s agricultural programme said the training has helped local farmers to improve on their yields, adding that the only challenge was the slow rate of technology adoption by local subsistence farmers. COMESA CAADP Deputy Coordinator, Dr Meebelo Nalishebo noted that the country has linked their agricultural growth programme to the CAADP framework, and she encouraged the Ethiopian Government to continue implementing the agenda to attain food and nutrition security for the country. The visit took place in the last week of August, and included the CAADP focal point persons from all the Member States.
The group also visited the COMESA Leather and Leather Products Institute (LLPI) centre in Ethiopia to learn about value addition in the agricultural sector. During the visit, Training Consultant Dr Tadesse Mamo informed them that the value of leather as a co-product of livestock exceeds the value of meat as a parent commodity by three times and that of coffee by four times. Dr Mamo urged the team to come up with ways of leveraging the linkages between the livestock and leather processing sectors so as to gain the maximum benefits from both.
The LLPI was commissioned in May 2007 to support and develop leather industries of the region. Its membership, while open to all COMESA Member States, is currently composed of: Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Sudan, Uganda and Zambia.