Ethiopia obtained a loan worth US$170 million from the World Bank to increase farmer productivity and income.
According to a World Bank media release the Livestock and Fisheries Sector Development project will aid 1.2 million farm households that depend on livestock and fisheries to earn more income. The credit facility will be provided by the International Development Association, the part of the World Bank that provides funding to poorer countries at low or zero interest rates.
The credit facility will be applied to increase the volume and quality of farmers’ produce, and to improve market access. According to Carolyn Turk, World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia, Sudan and South Sudan, there is still plenty of potential for improvement.
“For instance, dairy subsistence farmers could increase their milk production by 1.5 time and dairy cooperatives triple the volume of milk they collect and sell, while more specialised farmers could double egg production and cultivate 5 times more fish,” Turk said.
The project will focus on ensuring that disadvantaged groups such as women and unemployed youth are included to ensure they also profit from this economic transformation. The project will run in 58 woredas (districts) in 6 regions (Amhara, Benishangul-Gumuz, Gambella, Oromia, SNNPR and Tigray), with some projects stretching over to a national level.
The government of Ethiopia has identified the livestock and fisheries sectors as 1 of the drivers to transform the country into middle income status. In a report released last week by PricewaterhousCoopers, agribusiness owners identified Ethiopia as the third top destination in Africa for doing agribusiness in 2018.
The country is the largest livestock producer on the continent and is a major contributor to foreign exchange earnings.