Authorities Target 52mln Quintals of Wheat from Summer Production

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia is set to produce more than 52 million quintals of wheat through irrigation during the summer of the 2022/23 Fiscal Year, its officials say.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced the launch of the annual nationwide summer wheat production on Sunday.

Top regional and federal government officials attended the launching event held in the Somali region’s Tuli Guled District.

Agriculture Minister Oumar Hussain said the total wheat harvest is to reach a new peak this fiscal year.

The irrigation-based summer production push is expected to cultivate 1.3 million hectares of land.

The minister said the country is set to produce over 52 million quintals of wheat, double the amount of harvest secured last summer.

It will bring the annual wheat production to more than 152 million quintals along with over 101 million quintals output expected from the main farming Meher season this year, the minister said.

The irrigation based wheat planting campaign is a part of the push to achieve food self-sufficiency in the country often hit by climate change-induced drought by cultivating the crop throughout the year.

The cluster farming, which supports smallholders pool resources to purchase inputs and negotiate for better prices, also aims to wean the country off wheat imports by 2023.

It has enabled Ethiopia to boost its cultivated areas of wheat production from 50,000 hectares in 2018 to 167,000 hectares in 2021.

In the summer of 2022 alone, Ethiopia harvested 25 million quintals of wheat on 405,000 hectares, helping the nation to halt wheat import.

This has prompted praise from the African Development Bank, whose President called it “an incredible story of success”.

Authorities say the priority has been given to wheat farming with a view to sustaining import substitution and beginning exporting to Kenya and Djibouti next year.

Addis Ababa and Nairobi reached an agreement that will allow Kenya to import wheat from Ethiopia during President William Ruto’s visit this week.

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