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Ethiopia agriculture hotline provides opportunities for farmers

Ethiopia agriculture hotline provides opportunities for farmers

Ethiopia's farmers are flocking to a hotline that provides free agricultural advice about planting crops, using fertilizer and preparing land, the guardian reported.
The automated hotline has received nearly 1.5m calls from more than 300,000 farmers since it launched 12 weeks ago, according to Khalid Bomba, CEO of the Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), an internationally backed government initiative. The 90 lines are now taking an average of 35,000 calls a day.
Other African countries have used similar methods to get information to farmers, but Ethiopia's initial success is unparalleled, Khalid said. "The numbers speak for themselves," he said. "It's working and the farmers are finding it useful."
The advice line is just one of 82 targets on the three-year-old agency's agenda, ATA explain how useful users had been finding the new service which is available in three of Ethiopia's main languages: Amharic, Oromo and Tigrinya.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said Ethiopia's economic gains have reduced rural poverty rather than just enriching urban elite, and projected an annual economic growth rate of about 8% over the coming years.
The ATA was supported by Ethiopia's hugely influential former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, said the gauerdian; and one of the organisation's main successes has been introducing a package for improved production of the staple cereal, teff, which saw yields increase by up to 73% last year compared to the national average.
The ATA works closely with Ethiopia's Ministry of Agriculture and other partners including UNDP, USAid, the Nike Foundation, the World Bank and the Rockefeller Foundation.


 

 

22-09-2014 10:48 AM


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