Agricultural productivity through irrigation is boosted in the Afar Regional State as the federal government hands over 500 water pumps and 30 tractors. The Regional State President Awol Arba received the first round of farming technologies and tractors with Aisha Mohammed, Irrigation & Lowlands Minister. The support will play a critical role in the ongoing efforts to engage the Afar youth in the agriculture sector, said Aisha. The region can potentially develop more than 120,000hct of areas in the Middle Awash. Awol Arba said the support would greatly help increase productivity, especially in areas affected by water shortages and floods. “We are optimistic that the regional governments will use this technology to enhance productivity,” said Birhanu Megersa, state minister for Irrigation. To date, the Ministry has distributed about 4,000 water pumps to ten regions and the two city administrations supporting their winter irrigated wheat and vegetable production. Its officials have also supplied tractors to three regions to encourage agricultural mechanization. Despite its dependency on agriculture, which contributes to 40pc of the GDP, Ethiopia utilizes only five percent of its 21.8 million hct cropland that could be farmed through irrigation.
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