Agricultural productivity in Gambella region has increased in the past 25 years: Engineer Olero Opiew

Gambella, June 05, 2016 (GMN) - Gambella announces improvement in agricultural productivity. The Gambella Regional State Farming and Natural Resource Bureau has announced that agricultural productivity in the region has increased in the past 25 years.

The Head of the Bureau and Deputy Chief Administrator of the Region, Engineer Olero Opiew, told Walta Information Centre that the bureau has ensured the benefit of the people through increased productivity.

According to the Head, farming was not a common practice in the region before 1991. Following the focus given to the development of farming practice, crop productivity has been increasing in the past two and half decades.

The agricultural land cultivated by small farmers increased from 15,830 hectare in 1997 to 96,487 hectare in 2014 while crop harvest increased from 137,800 quintal to 1.9 million quintals, respectively.  That means productivity increased from 10.71 quintal per hectare to 18.43 quintal per hectare according to information obtained from the Bureau.

Olero said that the increment in productivity is partly explained by the change in work ethics and taping the benefits of new agricultural land. Apart from that the farmers and semi – pastoralist community has been benefiting from new agricultural technology and development of irrigation canals, he said.

According to the bureau head, a number of Farmers Training Centres has been built while close to 2,100 development agents have placed. As the result of the development of veterinary clinics in different part of the region, its coverage reached 60 percent, said the head.

Olero said that 1,880 model farmers have been created in the region following the wide spread agricultural interventions introduced by both the regional and federal government. These model farmers have registered a net worth of up to 1.7 million birr each, he added.

Apart from smallholder agriculture, Gambella has been a magnet for agricultural investment. More than 424 investors, 12 of them being foreigners, have leased more than 84,183 hectares of land. (Walta)