Officials at the Ministry of Agriculture have set aside 60 million dollars to be used for the procurement of agrochemicals, including fertilisers, for this year's harvest season. The sum is a fraction of what the federal government spent buying fertiliser from international suppliers last year. The state-owned Ethiopian Agricultural Businesses Corporation paid 650 dollars a tonne for 780,000tn of fertiliser supplied by the Morocco-based OCP Group. FertiGlobe, an Abu Dhabi-based firm, supplied half a million tonnes for close to 1,000 dollars each. Fertiliser prices in the global market have been soaring since 2020, but Russia's war in Ukraine pushed them to new highs. Smallholder farmers in Ethiopia faced retail prices of up to 4,900 Br a quintal last year, nearly triple what they paid the year before. Over eight million smallholder farmers are affected by soaring fertiliser costs. Ministry officials say 96pc of the fertiliser procured last financial year has been distributed. Farmers in the Tigray Regional State are not among the recipients. The Ministry will soon begin collecting needs assessment from regional administrations to launch the next round of procurement procedures.
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