Ethiopia is cited as one of the countries in Africa that have succeeded in transforming their agricultural sector, and the country’s top agriculture transformer has told DireTube that his country is among one of the top three investors in the sector per GDP.
“We invest 14pc of our GDP into the agricultural sector,” said Khalid Bomba, head of the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA). “A significant amount of investment is being made by the government.
Besides, the private sector has also been bringing in another huge investment over the past few years.” According to Bomba, the transformation in the agriculture sector in his country has created a lot of job opportunities and has boosted export capabilities of Ethiopia.
He stressed that Ethiopia started investing in its agriculture before the 2003 AU declaration and is committed to continue the investments in the years ahead. But all Ethiopian farmers are not getting the support they deserve and seek from their government.
Gadissa Gobena is a farmer in central Ethiopia who received 140,000 dollars grant from Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) for best seed production and dissemination. He told DireTube on the sidelines of the ongoing Nairobi agriculture meeting that he gets no support from the government and that has made his work difficult.
“I have got nothing from the government. Neither did I get a credit for my investments nor a grace period to pay my taxes. I don’t know where the 10pc investment of the GDP on agriculture went to… may be to other farmers.” Gayle Smith, USAID Administrator, said during the meeting that the United States will remain committed to a ‘smart and targeted’ assistance to help the agricultural revolution in Africa and there is an agreement between Democrats and Republicans on President Obama’s Feed the Future initiative.
“We are delighted that President Obama was able to sign into law the Global Food Security Act just last month,” Smith said adding that this means Feed the Future and the United States’ commitment to food security will live on beyond the administration of President Obama.
“The latest legislation authorized a billion dollar a year for 2017 and 2018 for food security endeavors across the world.”
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