Posted on :Thursday , 23rd March 2017
The Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resource said the new Agricultural Extension Strategy is believed to speed up the transformation of Ethiopian agriculture. This was disclosed Monday when the new Ethiopian Agricultural Extension Strategy tabled for discussion with stakeholders.
Minister Dr. Eyasu Abriha on the occasion said currently the agricultural, market-oriented, climate change extension services are typical instrument among global and continental institutes to bring radical change in their respective goals.
The studies conducted at national level indicated that apart from changing the attitude of people, agricultural extension can play significant role in replacing traditional farming mechanisms by modern and advantageous systems to raise the volume of production and productivity of farmers and semi-pastoralists, he added.
Studies also indicated that the extension system can reduce the level of famine by 9.8 % and increase the rate of utilizing technology by 7.1 %. This shows that if we strengthen the provision of the agricultural extension service for farmers and semi-pastoralists, and improve the habit of utilizing agricultural technology, it will take no longer time to sustainably defeat famine, he added.
Thus, the incumbent has been working aggressively to modernize the Ethiopian agriculture and improve the lives of the people through formulating policies and strategies that can steadily raise the national economic growth process at a faster pace, Dr. Eyasu reiterated .
For his part,State Minister Tesfaye Mengiste said though the Ethiopian agricultural extension service had begun in 1931, it didn't push the sector to bring reinforced outcome due to the limitation in the availability of infrastructure, and provision of technology and human power.
Currently, over 60,000 agricultural experts have been deployed in every rural kebeles to provide extension services for farmers and semi-pastoralists, Tesfaye said. As the government has so far established over 12,000 training stations to modernize the agricultural extension system, it will continue to construct additional 5,000 training centers in the coming years, he added.
As the extension service can not be left for the government alone, it requires the active participation of every stakeholders such as research institutes, experts and farmers,among others.
The newly launched strategy will assist to establish market-led extension system that would enable the people benefit more from the development efforts, he asserted.