Covid-19 | Mar 21,2020
May 9 , 2020
By SEBLE WONDEMAGEGN ( FORTUNE STAFF WRITER )
The Ministry of Agriculture has distributed 177 field vehicles and motorcycles to six regional states as part of the ongoing effort to support the livestock and fisheries sub-sectors. Costing 80 million Br, the funds came from the World Bank Group.
The vehicles will be distributed to 58 districts in the Oromia, Amhara, Southern Nations, Nationalities & People's Region (SNNPR), Tigray, Benishangul-Gumuz and Gambella regional states under the Livestock & Fisheries Sector Development Project. The six-year project was kicked off in 2018 with a loan of 170 million dollars from the World Bank that will be paid in 50 years.
The project is designed to increase productivity and the commercialisation of producers and processors in selected value chains, including strengthening service delivery systems in the livestock and fishery sectors and responding promptly and effectively to an emerging crisis. It has three components: linking harvested crops to market, strengthening institutional programmes, and capacity building within the dairy, poultry, red meat and fishery industries.
Out of the total number of vehicles, 146 are motorcycles, while the remaining are passenger cars. Among the cars, six are long base vehicles, while the rest are double-top Toyota vehicles. All of them were imported from Japan through the United Nations' Procurement Division, which provides procurement services and business advice to organisations such as the World Bank.
The vehicles will benefit 1.2 million households in 1,755 kebelesacross six regions. So far, the Ministry has distributed 122 field vehicles for the regional states at a cost of 102 million Br.
The vehicles and motorcycles that have been given to the regions are going to be used for the red meat value chain, and the Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) virus eradication programme, according to Thomas Chernet (PhD), a national project coordinator at the Ministry. Peste des Petits Ruminants virus is an infectious viral disease of small ruminants and highly affects sheep and goats.
Of the 31 vehicles, 28 are going to be used by the six regional states for the disease eradication campaign under their regional laboratories, according to Thomas.
The first time PPR disease was identified in the Afar Regional State, the mortality rate for sheep and goats was 90pc.
“This support is primarily to prevent and stop the virus, it would be difficult to give training and conduct other related work if we don’t get additional resources,” said Wondwossen Kumilachew, director at Bahir Dar Regional Veterinary Laboratory.
The support has high importance to the community, according to Minwyelet Mingist, a lecturer at Bahir Dar University’s College of Agriculture & Environmental Science.
"But in addition to providing support to the sector, the Ministry must work in the zones and districts where the problem is really found,” said Minwyelet.
Minwyelet also suggests that the Ministry train and empower the community and give it a chance to solve its own problems, so the project can reach its goal.
PUBLISHED ON May 09,2020 [ VOL 21 , NO 1045]
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