Ethiopia working to utilize potassium fertilizer to improve soil fertility
Ethiopia is working to properly utilize potassium (K) fertilizer to improve soil fertility thereby increase agricultural productivity the Ministry of Agriculture said.
Speaking at the 1st International Potash Institution Symposium held here today the State Minister Prof. Tekalign Mamo said Ethiopia has considered the need to use potassium fertilizer and boost soil fertility.
Considering the necessity of potassium for crop growth, the country started to use six new blended fertilizers including potassium.
After four decades of detachment from potassium fertilizer, researches conducted in recent years revealed the importance of potash for soil fertility, he said.
Nitrogen and phosphorus have been considered as the nutrients least present in soils; therefore, DAP and urea fertilizers have been the only fertilizer sources that have been in use in Ethiopia and in several other SSA countries.
A shift in this thinking in Ethiopia was triggered by research activities conducted during the last few years, the results from nationally launched soil fertility mapping, and ongoing new fertilizer demonstration trials being conducted in many areas.
Results from these studies proved that several nutrients including potassium are limiting crop yield. Based on these results, Ethiopia introduced six new fertilizers (including potassium) for distribution to farmers.
The IPI Director Hillel Magen on his part said sub-Saharan African countries including Ethiopia haven’t been widely used potassium fertilizers.
Studies conducted in the country displays that the country could increase productivity by using proper fertilizers including potassium.
The two-day symposium “The role of potassium in cropping system of Sub-Sahara Africa” on the current status and potential for increasing productivity is deliberating on soil fertility, quality of mineral fertilizers, and efficient use of fertilizers.
The symposium is also expected to address issues related to role and benefits of potassium fertilizers, focusing on chemical, physical and biological processes in soil and plants, farm management and economic application of fertilizers.
Seven Sugar Factories to Go Operational This Fiscal Year
Corporation Director-General Shiferaw Jarso
Ethiopian Sugar Corporation announced that it is working hard to boost its annual sugar production to more than 1.2 million tons and earn over 310 million USD foreign currency from the sector.
Corporation Director-General Shiferaw Jarso told ENA that the government has been building ten sugar factories to meet the demand of sugar in the country and to transform the sector during the Growth and Transformation Plan period.
From among the factories under construction across the country, seven would be completed this Ethiopian fiscal year, he said.
The sugar factories that would go operational in the budget year are Kesem, Arjo-Dedesa, Tendaho Numbers One and Two, Omo-Kuraz One, Beless One and Two, according to the director-general.
The factories would boost the 325,000 tons of sugar produced last fiscal year by the existing Metehara, Wonji Shoa and Fincha sugar factories to over 1.2 million tons.
According to Shiferaw, more than half a million ton of the projected sugar production would be covered by the old factories.
The shortage of sugar, which was caused by the failure of Tendaho Sugar Factory to go operational and the inability of Fincha Factory to meet its annual target due to heavy rainfall, was alleviated by importing sugar in the past fiscal, he noted.
In this budget year the corporation is working to not only meet the local demand of sugar in the country but also earn 311 million USD by exporting over 665,000 tons of sugar, Shiferaw added.
Besides, out of the 189MW electric power the factories would produce from residue they would utilize 143 MW and save the remaining 46 MW, he elaborated.
Ethiopia ranked least corrupt nation in Africa.
The 2013 survey released by anti-graft body, Transparency International, ranked Ethiopia the least corrupt nation in Africa.
The survey, which was carried out in 95 countries worldwide indicated that Ethiopia is the least corrupt country in Africa with corruption levels standing at 6 per cent
Rwanda ranked second at 13 per cent.
In East Africa, Uganda is the second most corrupt with 61 per cent of the people having said they bribed public officials to access services in 2013. Tanzania is at 56 per cent and Sudan stands at 17 per cent.
South Africa is at 47, Nigeria 61, Libya 62, Senegal 57, Mozambique 62, Morroco 49, Zimbabwe 62 Ghana 54 and Madagascar 28 per cent.
Sierra Leone is the most corrupt country in the world with corruption levels standing at 84 per cent.
Liberia comes second at 75 per cent, followed by Yemen at 74 and Kenya completes the list of the top four most corrupt nations at 70 per cent.
In the world, the countries with the lowest reported bribery rate are Denmark, Finland, Japan and Australia; they all have a bribery rate of one per cent.
Only 16 out of the 95 countries posted corruption levels of less than five per cent.
Ethiopia keen to share best practices in agriculture
Ethiopia says it is ready to share its best practices in improving agricultural production and productivity with fellow African countries.
Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn held talks on Tuesday with Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary General, who is in Addis Ababa for the 4th African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF).
PM Hailemariam told Mr. Annan that Ethiopia, 85 percent of whose population is relies on agriculture, is taking measures to improve the livelihoods of its farmers.
He said the country is willing to share its best practices in the sector with fellow Africans.
Mr. Annan for his part said Ethiopia’s effort to enhance agriculture is exemplary to other African nations.
He said young Africans should join the agriculture sector in their respective countries and support national development endeavors.
Also same day, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn conferred with Mr. Strive Masiyiwa, Chair of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
On the occasion, Mr. Masiyiwa conveyed interest to work to extend Ethiopia’s best agricultural practices to other African countries.
Allana Sons Finalizing U.S $ 9 Million Deal
The Indian based meat processing company, Allanasons Group, is finalizing a deal for the purchase of Akshakar Export Abattoir for a total of U.S $ Nine Million.
The parties have already concluded the agreement, yet they have not secured authentication for the contract at the Documents Authentication and Registration Office (DARO).
According to Fortune, the process is being delayed for the parties could not reach on consensus over the issue of getting the contract authenticated after audits of Akshakar’s performance. Nonetheless, after officials of the Leather Industry Development Institute (LIDI) mediated the two parties, they agreed to get the registration and authentication of documents on the ground Akshakar’s financial auditing is done first.
It was only a year ago the Indian company secured a 75 hectare of land in Ziway town, Oromia State, for the purpose of erecting a meat processing plant. Allanasons plans to construct a facility with a capacity of producing 70 tons a day. The company estimates to spend U.S $ 20 Million for the facility.
In addition to this, according to ILDI, the facility will have an abattoir with the capacity of handling 400 cattles and 5,000 sheep and goats a day.
In 2014 the meat processing plant’s design work was commissioned to an Ethiopian firm, ETG Designers and Consultants Plc. The design is now completed and the construction work is soon to be given to contractors.
According to Ministry of Industry (MoI), the company is set to start to production in the current fiscal year.
Allanasons has also made payments to the Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU) for the supply of 250KVA electric power it needs for the export abattoir it will operate.
In addition to this, the Indian company is under process to secure additional land in the Somali and Oromia States.
According to the Fortune, Akshakar has the annual capacity to process 6,000tn of cattle meat and a similar amount of meat from sheep and goats. It can also process 3,710 tons of by-products of the slaughter house.
IBM Experts Help Drive Economic and Social Change in Ethiopia
A team of 15 IBM (NYSE: IBM) experts today presented its recommendations to Ethiopian leaders on a range of critical projects aimed at supporting Ethiopia’s national Growth and Transformation Plan.
The business and technology experts from 10 different countries spent four weeks on the ground in the country’s capital Addis Ababa, working with government ministries and NGOs to help them attract foreign investment, deliver healthcare services, and track economic growth. They explained the latest, most effective methodologies for achieving those goals, including mobile technologies, online portals and data analytics, along with the latest best practices in marketing, finance and project management.
The organizations with which IBM worked included the Ministry of Health, the Ethiopian Investment Commission, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and NGO Digital Opportunity Trust. IBM also worked with Dow Chemical to provide counsel to International Medical Corps — the latest in a series of joint projects worldwide in which IBM has teamed with other companies looking to fortify their pro bono consulting programs.
The engagements come as the “Horn of Africa” country continues on its path of accelerated economic growth and works to transform the standard of living for a citizen population of over 90 million. Hailed by some as the “African Lion.” Ethiopia is one of the world’s fastest growing economies with an average annual GDP growth rate of over 10% for the past decade (World Bank) and with plans to become a middle-income country by 2025.
The pro bono consulting work that IBM performed is part its Corporate Service Corps (CSC) program – a global pro-bono initiative through which IBM deploys teams of its most talented people on projects aimed at driving social and economic development. Africa has become a strong focus for IBM’s CSC program as it expands its operations across the continent and forges new strategic relationships with government, clients and not for profits.
“Over the past decade, Ethiopia has become one of Africa’s biggest economic and social success stories,” said HE Dr. Kesetebirhan Admasu Birhane, Ethiopia’s Minister of Health. “As Ethiopia continues along its course of economic and social transformation, it is important that we work closely with experts like IBM who can bring their global expertise and leading technologies to bear to ensure that our nation’s success is sustainable and inclusive.”
This week IBM presented its recommendations and findings to 5 clients which include:
- The Ministry of Health: an IBM team identified opportunities to use internet and mobile technologies to support the country’s Health Extension Program. The IBM team recommended a text-based communications system to enable the Ministry to communicate better with its 39,000 Health Extension Workers and a system to enable citizens in rural areas to send in views and comments about healthcare via mobile phones. A key part of the proposed solution is text analytics software to help identify emerging healthcare trends such as the spread of disease or public misconceptions about healthcare issues.
- The Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC): IBM developed plans for an integrated IT system to simplify and ease investment processes for foreign companies looking to set up business in Ethiopia. IBM recommended a “one-stop-shop” solution with web interfaces to enhance process automation and integration across collaborating departments and external entities.
- The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MoLSA): an IBM team came up with a set of recommendations to reduce the time and effort spent on the collection and analysis of key labor market data such as employment rates and job vacancies. The IBM team performed an analysis of best practices from around the world and identified opportunities and technologies to speed up processes and reduce margins of error.
- International Medical Corps (IMC): an IBM team assessed IMC’s information management system and recommended a methodology to measure the effectiveness of its programs. The team proposed a roadmap that leverages mobile and analytics technologies to gather and analyze data about nutrition, water, sanitation, and hygiene, primary health and livelihood. It supports IMC’s work in helping local communities become less vulnerable to events like drought and disease outbreaks. As part of the project, the IBM team collaborated with Dow Chemical to study and promote enhanced sanitation facilities in rural areas.
- Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT): IBM consultants advised global NGO DOT on its program to roll out Business Development Service Centers, which provide entrepreneurial and IT training to young people across Ethiopia. The IBM team came up with a set of recommendations to optimize offerings such as mentoring and job placement, identify new sources of funding and raise awareness of DOT’s services.
“As we continue to forge relationships across the African continent, the Corporate Service Corps Program is a powerful way for IBM to provide national, municipal, civic and social institutions here with the same expertise that we provide our commercial clients,” said Solomon Mengesha, IBM Business Development Manager East Africa. “We see great potential in Ethiopia and strong interest in developing innovative solutions that can drive further economic and social transformation.”
IBM has an active commercial presence in Ethiopia, supporting clients across a range of sectors including banking, government and telecommunications. For example, IBM is supporting the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) in its modernization and business expansion program as it rolls out core banking services across the country and launches new mobile and internet banking services.
About IBM Corporate Service Corps
IBM’s Corporate Service Corps is a global pro-bono initiative through which IBM deploys teams of top achieving employees to emerging market countries. These global and multicultural teams spend one month on the ground working with local government, non profit civic groups, and small business to develop blueprints that touch issues ranging from economic development, energy and transportation, to education and healthcare. Participating IBM employees offer skills that include technology, scientific research, marketing, finance, human resources, law and economic development.
By the end of 2014, IBM Corporate Service Corps will have dispatched approximately 2,600 IBM employees originating from 56 countries on engagements to 37 countries — making this pro bono problem solving program one of the world’s largest. Africa, a growing market for IBM, is one of the focal points of the program. By the end of 2014, the CSC will have deployed 800 IBM employees for projects in South Africa, Ethiopia, Angola, Senegal, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco and Egypt.