The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), its Ethiopia office, and federal authorities have launched an assistance programme for smallholder farmers. The initiative looks to provide agricultural inputs such as chemical fertilisers, and tools, to 65,000 farming households in the Amhara, Oromia, Somali, and Tigray regional states. Project managers says trucks have thus far distributed 2,000 bags of seeds. It amounts to an approximate 1,900 tonnes of sorghum, maize, teff, wheat, and haricot bean seeds. Smallholder farmers have been struggling with skyrocketing fertiliser prices. Unions and cooperatives, which are tasked with distribution after federal agencies import the input, were selling chemical fertilisers for up to 4,900 Br a quintal. Last month, the federal government facilitated billions of Birr in subsidies from federal coffers, sufficient to slash fertiliser prices by a quarter.
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