Addis Ababa — Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said that the government of Ethiopia has been exerting efforts to expand agricultural development and agro-industry sector in a bid to enhance national economy of the country.
The premier made the remark today at the inauguration ceremony of the Yirgalem Integrated Agricultural Industrial Park built at a cost of 2.2 billion Birr.
During the occasion, Abiy said that the Yirgalem Integrated Agricultural Industrial Park located in Sidama region is part of the ongoing efforts and is a clear indication of Ethiopia’s future journey to prosperity.
The newly inaugurated park has a wide range of benefits as it engages in processing organic products of dairy, avocado and coffee for export market, he added.
Situated on 294.5 hectares, the industry park’s potential value chain includes fruits and vegetables, dairy, meat, poultry, coffee, cereal and pulses, using produce from local farmers as input, Prime Minister Abiy stated.
Currently, those active are engaged in avocado oil, honey and coffee capsule processing.
Abiy further stressed the need for expanding the agro-industry sector in the country in order to become self-sufficient in food by efficiently utilizing the labor and knowledge of the farmer.
Minister of Trade Melaku Alebel for his part stated that the Integrated Agro-Industry development is a unique instrument to expedite economic structural transformation by enhancing agriculture – industry linkages.
Industries so far commenced operation in the park have been exporting agro-industry processed products for export market citing ‘Sevando Manufacturing’ which has been exporting avocado edible oil to the international market and created market linkages with some 78, 000 local farmers and 1,000 jobs.
Dolly Food Company has also been engaged in milk products for export trade by using milk from the local farmers, the minister added.
Prime Minister Abiy inaugurated the park together with former Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn and other government officials.
The first phase of the park which is being developed by the Sidama National Regional State Industrial Parks Development Corporation is now completed enabling partial production to commence.
Out of the 11 production sites built so far, 4 are under production, according to office of the prime minister.
Some 8 additional manufacturing industries are preparing to also start production after installation planting machinery, creating market linkages and other requirements.
In addition to job creation, the park is believed to drive rural industrialization by enhancing local agricultural products as an industrial input.
The park will engage in processing the various agricultural products that are widely harvested in the region.