To assist the Ethiopian government in its agricultural plan, the OCP foundation has initiated a national campaign. Ethiopia’s Minister of Agriculture Shiferaw Shigute presided over the opening ceremony, which was held last week.
The ceremony boasted the participation of numerous other high-ranking officials, including three state ministers, Morocco’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Nezha Alaoui M’hammdi, and many stakeholders in Ethiopia’s agricultural sector, including entrepreneurs and representatives of agriculture-related agencies and research centers.
With the objective of completing a thorough study of the country’s fertility level, OCP and the Ethiopian government are planning to finalize a pilot zone by October 2018. The zone will consist of 100,000 hectares of arable lands and 1,000 samples of composite soil from throughout the country for laboratory analysis.
According to OCP agricultural engineers, the results of the soil analysis will provide stakeholders and policymakers with a clearer idea of the requirements for a more productive and sustainable agriculture in Ethiopia, especially for matching fertilizers with specific types of soil.
The second phase of the OCP-Ethiopian government agricultural cooperation will be devoted to awareness-raising campaigns in remote areas. The overarching goal is to promote the use of fertilizers, inform the population about the stakes of the project, and gain the cooperation and adherence of “small farmers.”
The new initiative is the latest cooperation between the OCP foundation and the Ethiopian government in a series of joint projects. Ethiopia is one of OCP’s most strategic partners in its bid to increase intra-African exchanges in the field of agriculture (especially technical assistance and provision of fertilizers).
In the early phase of OCP’s Africa project, the Moroccan agriculture giant signed a USD 2.4 billion agreement with Ethiopia’s authorities. The contract entailed the construction of a fertilizer production unit in the Dire Dawa region. Upon completion, the Dire Dawa factory will have an annual production capacity of 2.5 million of tons of fertilizers, an impressive yield which Ethiopian authorities expect will be of crucial importance in the fight for sustainable agriculture and food safety.
An additional investment of USD 1.3 billion is expected to boost the initial project and increase the Dire Dawa annual yield to 3.8 million tons, an impressive figure on which Ethiopia is counting to reach complete food safety for the 100 million-populated country in the coming years.