Germany promotes agricultural mechanization technologies in Ethiopia

The German Development Cooperation (GIZ) today host a field day in Ethiopia at the Kulumsa Agricultural Research Center in the Oromia Regional State Arsi zone. The purpose of the field day is to promote agricultural productivity through modern, adapted mechanization.

Over 150 visitors came to the field day, representing smallholder farmers, farmers’ cooperatives, mechanization service providers, agricultural machinery dealers, government, financial institutions and German development cooperation. Today’s event showcased state-of-the-art agricultural technology and machinery that can help farmers increase yields by up to 80%.

At the field day, GIZ presented the machinery in use on demonstration plots to representatives of the public, private and financing sectors. Machinery importers showed and informed participants about their agricultural machinery and equipment on offer.

The Development Bank of Ethiopia’s new leasing fund for agricultural machinery was discussed among stakeholders, which helps service providers acquire machinery like that on display.

“For seven years, GIZ has been supporting agricultural mechanization in the Arsi-Zone,” said Mr. Magnus Schmid, Coordinator of the German Development Cooperation Program Promotion of Agricultural Productivity through Innovation.

“To use adapted technology and to train operators in maintenance for agricultural machinery is key in order to promote sustainable productivity. The Agricultural Training Center (ATC) in Kulumsa is currently being up-scaled as best practices in 14 African countries,” he said.

The Ethiopian government has put an emphasis on the role of mechanization in modernising Ethiopian agriculture and increasing smallholder farmers’ yields. GIZ promotes use of modern mechanization technologies suited for Ethiopia’s agriculture.

Approximately 150 service providers, including private companies and farmers’ cooperative unions, offer mechanization services to smallholder farmers in the Arsi zone in Oromia. They provide ploughing services to around 37,500 and combine harvesting to 170,000 farming households per year.

The number of service providers in the whole country amounts to about 350. However, the technology available is often outdated and not suitable for the agroecological conditions. Farmers also need access to further mechanized field operations to improve productivity, such as seedbed preparation and row planting.

On behalf of the German government, GIZ programs support the Ethiopian government’s objective of increasing smallholder productivity and income.

The “Promotion of Agricultural Productivity through Innovation” (PAPI) program promotes smallholders’ productivity, for example through use of good agricultural practices and improved access to quality mechanization services and technology in high-potential areas.