Agriterra has signed a six-month agreement with the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH to create a basis for the professionalisation of mechanisation activities of three Ethiopian Farmers’ Cooperative Unions in the Amhara Region. On behalf of the German Government, GIZ is supporting the Ethiopian Government in improving access of smallholder farmers to quality mechanisation services.
The Government of Ethiopia promotes mechanised farming. It shows a keen interest to improve the agricultural mechanisation practice in different parts of the country for enhancing agricultural productivity. In June 2019, the government amended the tax law to exempt agricultural machinery imported from customs duty. The tax change is an important incentive to invest in these technologies.
The three cooperative unions, namely Damot, Admass and Merkeb, have procured tractors and ploughs with which they offer mechanisation services to their members as well as other farmers. One union also owns a combined harvester. The machineries were financed through a lease finance by the Development Bank of Ethiopia.
The assessments show that smallholder farmers have a demand for mechanised ploughing, as well as other mechanised field operations, but the three unions still struggle to run the machineries efficiently. Therefore, Agriterra focuses on the mechanisation business case mainly to identify the gaps and prepare an action plan to professionalise the unions and primary cooperatives related to mechanisation. The objective is to enable the unions to organise and operate their mechanisation activities efficiently and profitably, serving the smallholders in the best way possible, and expanding their mechanisation activities in the long run.
Stakeholder awareness sessions are organised to align all stakeholders on the mechanisation activities of the union and to get support on the implementation. Agriterra provides close follow-up and coaching to these unions and will particularly assist and coach the three unions during the upcoming ploughing season.