Ministry Formulates

Ministry Formulates

Women-targeted project

 

ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 18 (ENA) The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) announced here yesterday that, in

collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), it has formulated

a Women-targeted Post-Harvest Loss Prevention Project.

 

Opening a two-day workshop at the MOA's assembly hall, Vice Minister Belay Ejigu said the project is aimed

at improving the post-harvest system in rural areas and expected to integrate rural women in development

activities through the provision of equitable access to information. "It is also intended to improve

post-harvest technologies and thereby improve their quality of life," he pointed out.

 

Asked why this project is particularly focused on women peasant farmers, Ato Belay said "Ethiopian

women comprise 50 per cent of the population of whom the majority reside in the rural areas of the country.

As some reports indicate, rural women perform 49 per cent of farm activities, ranging from seed-bed

preparation to crop processing." He went on: "They work for 12 to 15 hours daily and are responsible for

about 50 per cent of subsistence agricultural production. Ethiopia women thus shoulder most of the

backbreaking work in rural areas but also lack appropriate technologies which can help them to reduce

their labour drudgery in both domestic and agricultural activities."

 

Ato Belay said this Women-targeted Post-Harvest Loss Prevention Project has "a unique feature from the

social, cultural and traditional points of view in dealing with rural-based peasant farmers." According to him it

needs "keen follow-up, monitoring and stringent management to ensure sustainability".

 

Ato Ibrahim Mohammed, Acting Head of Agricultural Extension Department in the MOA, meanwhile noted

that the pilot project financed by UNIDO will be implemented in Amhara, Tigray, Oromia, Harari and

Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples State. It is believed that about 820 peasant farmers will benefit

from this project and that, moreover, the post-harvest technology information will be disseminated among

some 3,300 farmers. The implementing agencies are the MOA and the respective agricultural bureaux.

 

During the two-year duration of the project, it is planned to establish about 82 post-harvest technology

demonstration and training stations involving nearly 800 women farmers. Training will also be given to

women farmers, extension development agents, agricultural engineers and technicians. It was learned

that UNIDO allocated US 847,700 for realization of the project.

 

Ato Yonas Metaferia, the coordinator of the project in the MOA, said on his part that the main aims of the

workshop are to introduce the objectives and implementation modalities of the project to field

workers, identify appropriate technologies suitable to the respective states and pinpoint women-targeted

post-harvest technology promotion approach.

 

Taking part in the workshop are around 45 participants drawn from the five state agricultural bureaux of the

project sites, the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Organization, the Health and Nutrition Research

Institute, Basic Metals Industry Agency, handicrafts and Micro and Small Enterprise Development Agency,

the Ministry of Trade and Industry and from various sections of MOA. They are discussing issues related to

post-harvest loss reduction in the subsistence agricultural sector in general and women's farming

activities in particular.