Agri Ministry Plants Seeds of Change with New Fertiliser Procurement Board


Agri Ministry Plants Seeds of Change with New Fertiliser Procurement Board

The Ministry of Agriculture has announced plans to simplify procuring and distributing fertiliser by establishing a six-member board that facilitates opening letters of credit and manages the transportation process under the Ethiopian Agriculture Business Corporation (EABC). Chaired by Minister of Agriculture Girma Amentie (PhD), the Board comprised the Central Bank Governor Mamo Mehretu, Prime Minister Office Head Teferi Fikre, President of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia Abie Sano, State Minister for Finance Semereta Sewasew and Minister of Transport & Logistics Alemu Sime (PhD). The Ministry could not distribute the first batch until April last year. A series of issues were attributed to the delay which Girma hopes will be addressed through the new board. He said lessons were learned during a media briefing session at the Ministry's headquarters around Gurd Shola. "There is no reason for delays now," he told Fortune. The Ministry expects to cover three million hectares with wheat through irrigation, which is more than double last year's 1.3 million hectares, with plans to produce 117 million quintals of wheat. According to Girma, the three-year demand of every region is mapped out to make contractual procurements which will address the pricing issue. "Five letters of credit have been opened," he said. Over 1.3 million quintals of NPS and Urea fertilisers have already been procured for close to 500 dollars for a tonne while all the 23 million quintals planned for this year will be undertaken by the new board, cutting unnecessary and tedious bureaucratic hurdles, according to the Girma.


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