Ethio Lease, Ethiopia’s first privately-held and foreign-owned equipment leasing company, presented 85 combine harvesters to beneficiaries, including 10 to Ethiopian Agricultural Business Corporation (EABC).
The equipment, representing more than $16 million in investment, was distributed today at an event held in Bishoftu, southeast of the capital, according to the press statement from Ethio Lease. In his remarks, Ethio Lease CEO Girum Tsegaye said, “The equipment delivered here will be of paramount importance to our farmers and generate new economic activity for Ethiopia, by increasing efficiency and yield in Ethiopia’s harvest and bolstering the fight against the locust swarms that the country continues to face today.”
Since August 2019, Ethio Lease has endeavored to improve farming mechanization in Ethiopia, first by leasing 60 tractors to farmers in different parts of Ethiopia worth $4.2 million. According to Girum, these latest harvester deliveries will create a significant impact, both boosting productivity and mitigating the losses generated by more traditional farming practices and unforeseen environmental issues like the locusts.
“These combine harvesters will produce more than half a million tons of barley and wheat per annum, with an annual local market value of $225 million. That is enough to bake two billion loaves of bread,” Degol Gossaye, VP Marketing and Sales of Ethio Lease said. “They will also benefit the equivalent of 180,000 smallholder farmers, reduce harvest losses to the tune of $66 million per annum, and create or sustain 850 direct and 34,000 indirect jobs.”
Ethio Lease, a subsidiary of Africa Asset Finance Company Inc. (AAFC), began operations in August 2019 after receiving a license from the National Bank of Ethiopia, the first of its kind, and continues to address the equipment shortage and foreign exchange (FX) challenges faced in Ethiopia, providing bespoke equipment financing and a wide range of leasing services for multiple sectors including agriculture, healthcare, energy, food and coffee processing, and manufacturing, among other verticals.
Ethio Lease buys and imports equipment and oversees maintenance and proper use throughout its lease period. To date, the company has signed leasing agreements with more than 100 customers for more than 200 equipment units of various types.