Israel committed to Develop Agriculture in Ethiopia: Delegation

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Addis Ababa, December 26, 2009 (Addis Ababa) An Israeli delegation head said the Israeli government is committed to expand and diversify its cooperation with Ethiopia especially in agriculture technology transfer.

In an exclusive interview with ENA over the weekend, delegation head, ZVI Herman said as agriculture is the driving sector for all spheres his government is closely working with Ethiopia to diversify its cooperation in this regard.

Ethiopia has immense potential and is doing well in developing the agriculture sector, the head said, adding, his government is sharing rich experience in the sector, he said.

The director said the projects are in line with Ethiopia's national development policies and complement the Ethiopian government's efforts geared toward ensuring food security and self-sufficiency.

Herman, who is the Director for Israel's Center for International Agricultural Development Cooperation (CINADCO), said the Israel government is implementing two tripartite agricultural projects.

One of the projects, which is focused on seedlings development, is jointly run by the International Cooperation Center of Israel (MASHAV) , the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the United States Agency for International Aid (USAID).

The other project that enables Ethiopia enhance small-scale irrigation development is being carried out in collaboration with GTZ, he said.

The Butajira Center of Excellence for Horticulture, a tripartite center for propagation of tropical fruits and vegetables is serving as a demonstration, production and a training facility with the objective of increasing productivity and quality of Ethiopia's horticultural export products, he said.

The director said some 16 water shades have already been identified in Amhara, Tigray, Oromia, and South Ethiopia Peoples' States. The actual implementation of the three-year project will start as of the coming January and is expected to benefit farmers in thousands.

The project aims at improving capacity of local farmers toward adopting possible climatic changes.

He said the project , which has three focus areas including promotion of sustainable water resources management, improvement of irrigation productivity, and utilization of non-potable water resources ,will have great impact to mitigate the devastating effects of climate change.

The delegation has held discussions with State Ministers of Agriculture and Rural Development Dr Abera Deressa and Beshir Abdullahi on implementation of the projects and ways to enhance cooperation in the sector.

The delegation consisting of experts from CINADCO and MASHAV has already visited the projects.