In a bid to address the fertiliser supply crunch for the upcoming season, the Ministry of Agriculture is poised for a series of overhauls in the form of long-term procurement modalities and digital distribution controls. Minister Girma Amentie (PhD) indicated that replacing annual bids for fertiliser with advance procurements for up to three years term contracts in partnership with the Ministry of Finance is pending for next year. "We have learned a lot from other institutions' endeavours towards digitisation," said Girma foreshadowing the change. Girma stated the proposed reforms at a press briefing held at the Ministry's headquarters near Gurd Shola, last week. The Minister said that only five per cent of the fertiliser will be put in the warehouses of the Agriculture Business Corporation while the rest is directly delivered from the ports to the regional states depending on their agroecology. Meanwhile, legal actions are underway against parallel markets disrupting the distribution, he said. According to Girma, out of the 20 million quintals of fertiliser allocated for this year's harvest season 13.6 million quintals have been procured with one billion dollars. He said that while 11.9 million quintals have arrived at Djibouti ports, 89.7pc were transported to the country. During the Meher season, out of the 17.4 million hectares of arable land, 10 million hectares have been covered with seeds so far, according to the Minister.
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