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.