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Ethiopia Emerges As The Largest Wheat Producer In Africa

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Ethiopia emerges as Africa’s leading wheat producer, thanks to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s push towards making Ethiopia a wheat-exporting nation.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that Ethiopia’s wheat production for the 2022/2023 season has increased by 27%, hitting a new high of 7 million tonnes. This significant rise from the previous 5.7 million tonnes results from favorable rainfall in the Ethiopian highlands. Following Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s March 2022 forecast of a 4 million tonnes harvest, Ethiopia’s wheat production now exceeds its domestic needs for the first time in decades, eliminating the necessity for imports and facilitating exports.

Positioned as the foremost wheat producer in sub-Saharan Africa, with an annual demand of approximately 9.7 million tonnes, Ethiopia has embarked on substantial efforts to boost wheat production and reduce reliance on inconsistent imports. Initiatives include the Agricultural Businesses Corporation distributing 25,300 tonnes of disease-resistant seeds adaptable to various environmental conditions for the March season.

Additionally, the Ministry of Agriculture advocates for cluster farming and offers subsidized fertilizers to increase production, aiming to meet local demands and extend supplies to neighboring countries. The USDA’s estimates are predicated on an 18% increase in the area cultivated, mainly under irrigation, now spanning 2.3 million hectares. Productivity is anticipated to climb by 8% from the previous year and 6% from the five-year average, reaching an unprecedented 3 tons per hectare. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has recently launched a national initiative in the Bale Zone, Oromia region, propelling Ethiopia into its wheat export phase, marking a significant step forward in the nation’s agricultural export goals.

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Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s pivotal role in transitioning Ethiopia into a wheat-exporting country realizes a long-held aspiration. With successful off-season summer cultivation and cluster farming approaches, Ethiopia has begun its initial wheat exports, underscoring the nation’s commitment to enhancing its wheat production capabilities and establishing a landmark in Ethiopia’s agricultural progression.


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