The mission of “Agricultural Value Chains in Oromia”, a project promoted by the Italian Cooperation in Addis Ababa in collaboration with the Istituto Agronomico per l’Oltremare, is to revive the cultivation of wheat to help Ethiopia meet its population’s food needs. The project is planned for the Bale area in the central-southern Ethiopian region of Oromia.
The programmes involves 15 farm cooperatives, and hopes to produce 500,000 tonnes of wheat over the next 5 years. “Durum wheat”, the Cooperation explains, “was cultivated for millennia in Ethiopia, but has by now been almost completely replaced by common wheat. Nevertheless, the country is consuming a rapidly growing amount of pasta and there is a pressing need for the raw materials to produce it. We intend to prove, with our project, that the current importation of hundreds of thousands of tonnes of durum wheat can be replaced by national production”.
The project, which involves 10,000 small farmers in the districts of Agarfa, Goro, Ginir, Gololcha and Sinana, achieved an initial important objective a few days ago: a supply contract for two farming cooperatives, and a pasta industry.