Over 11 Million Smallholder Farmers Poised to Double Their Yields from the Blending Fertilizer Initiative

First cooperative-run fertilizer blending factory opens in Ethiopia

For Immediate Release

Sunday, June 1, 2014
 
(left to right) State Minister of Agriculture Mitiku Kassa and Oromia Regional State Vice President Abdulaziz Mohamed.
(left to right) State Minister of Agriculture Mitiku Kassa and Oromia Regional State Vice President Abdulaziz Mohamed cut the ribbon to officially open the newly constructed fertilizer blending facility in Tullu Bollo.
Robert Sauers, USAID Ethiopia

Tullu Bollo, Oromia, Ethiopia – The Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), today inaugurated in Oromia the first ever fertilizer blending factory in Ethiopia. The MOA is working with other partners to open three more in SNNP, Amhara and Tigray. USAID supported the construction of the Oromia factory with a $1.2 million Feed the Future innovation grant and collaborated with the MOA, ATA, and Becho-Woliso Farmers’ Cooperative Union on its operational plan.

The MOA’s fertilizer initiative aims to introduce custom tailored fertilizers to Ethiopia and start in-country production of these fertilizers to greatly increase crop yields. It is expected that this initiative will lead to widespread adoption and accessibility of blended fertilizers, benefiting more than 11 million smallholder farmers in the four regions. The farmers’ cooperatives unions are a vital part of the fertilizer initiative as they will run the factories on a commercial basis with support from the regional governments and Bureaus of Agriculture.

USAID Ethiopia Mission Director Dennis Weller gives remarks at a ceremony to inaugurate the fertilizer blending facility.
USAID Ethiopia Mission Director Dennis Weller gives remarks at a ceremony to inaugurate the first ever fertilizer blending facility in Ethiopia.
Robert Sauers, USAID Ethiopia

The MOA, in collaboration with the ATA, regional bureaus of agriculture, and USAID’s Agribusiness Market Development activity, have conducted more than 40,000 new fertilizer demonstrations in the four target regions. The results showed yield increases up to 100 percent, when compared to conventional fertilizer application.

“Improved inputs, such as fertilizer and seeds, are a proven factor in agricultural productivity,” said USAID Mission Director to Ethiopia Dennis Weller. “The U.S. Feed the Future Initiative has awarded over $4 million in grants for improved inputs to help transform Ethiopian agriculture and benefit smallholder farmers.”

The lack of available fertilizer blends customized to Ethiopia’s soil, the local production cost advantage over importation and the benefits of in-country production to the Ethiopian agribusiness sector led to the establishment of this blended fertilizer factory in Ethiopia.

Blending machinery inside the first of its kind fertilizer blending facility in Tullo Bollo, Ethiopia.
Blending machinery inside the first of its kind fertilizer blending facility in Tullo Bollo, Ethiopia.
Robert Sauers, USAID Ethiopia

According to Professor Tekalign Mamo, state minister of agriculture and minister’s advisor who oversees the national soil fertility survey and establishment of fertilizer blending factories, ‘’It is a dream come true!”

See Also

USAID Mission Director Remarks Fertilizer Factory [PDF, 170 KB]

Press Release Fertilizer Facility [PDF, 92 KB]

USAID Ethiopia: Agriculture and Food Security

USAID Ethiopia: Feed the Future

Last updated: September 30, 2014

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