The Minister for Development Cooperation of Denmark, Mr Rasmus Prehn, visited development projects in Wukro Town of Tigray region of Ethiopia on Thursday.
The high-level visit included sight visits to an agricultural commercialization cluster (ACC) and an agricultural one-stop shop established with Ethiopian Agriculture Transformation Agency’s (ATA’s) direct technical and financial support, according to the press statement from ATA.
The visit also includes briefings on other projects implemented by the Government of Ethiopia in collaboration with ATA and other partners to transform the agriculture sector and benefit smallholder farmers.
The Danish Minister is accompanied by Mr. Gebregziabher Gebreyohannes, Ethiopian State Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Atinkut Mezgebu, Advisor to the Deputy President of Tigray Regional State, Mr. Kiros Bitew, Head of the Tigray Regional Agriculture Bureau, and Mr. Khalid Bomba, Chief Executive Officer of the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA).
Briefing the visiting honorable Minister on the agricultural one-stop shop, CEO of ATA Mr. Khalid Bomba noted that this farm service business model has been tested globally and been proven to be an effective means to provide smallholders with a comprehensive outlet for farming inputs and support services. He underscored,
“The one-stop shops are empowering farmers and improving their productivity by providing quality agricultural inputs and services together with agronomic and veterinary consultations and trainings in a timely and affordable manner.”
During the visit, the agricultural commercialization cluster wheat-producing farmers expressed the gains they have made through the input voucher system, which facilitates access to credit, and the ATA-run 8028 agricultural hotline, which provides access to best agronomic advice on cereals, horticulture, oil seeds, crops as well as a wide range of agriculture-related issues.
Mr. Prehn expressed his appreciation of the work that has been done to improve the capacity and lives of smallholder farmers.
“Now I see a better future for farmers, one where they can start not only thinking about how to survive but also one where they can start thinking about making strategies for the future, and have trust in the future,” he said. He also confirmed his government’s commitment to support development projects such as the ones seen during the visit.