Addis Abeba – Farmers in East Gojjam Zone of Amhara regional state have filed complaints with zonal authorities on March 22 regarding the current lack of supply and rising cost of fertilizers ahead of to coming main crop planting season.
According to East Gojam Police Bureau, representatives of the farmers who were drawn from various localities in the zone told zonal authorities that one of the main reasons for their harvest declines were the lack of timely supply of fertilizer and rising costs, contributing to their inability to buy and use the fertilizer timely.
The farmers’ representatives further cautioned that failure to provide adequate fertilizer for the next farming season could lead to a reduction in production and cause further damage to the lives of the farmers. They concluded their discussion by calling on the zonal leadership to facilitate speedy solution and forming a committee from each Woreda in the zone.
The farmers’ complaint comes amidst growing fears that the global supply of fertilizer was facing unprecedented disruption following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. According to data from The Fertilizer Institute, Russia is the world’s largest exporter of fertilizers, accounting for 23% of ammonia exports, 14% of urea exports, 10% of processed phosphate exports, and 21% of potash exports. TFI warned that the war “will add additional pressure on a market that has already experienced many challenges over the last 18 months.”
On the same day the farmers in east Gojam filed their complaints, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed accompanied by Mr. Taufila Nyamadzab, World Bank Executive Director for Africa Group 1 and Ousmane Dione, World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan and Eritrea, visited cluster wheat productivity in East Shewa Zone, Adama Woreda of the Oromia Region.
PM Abiy repeatedly speaks of replacing “wheat imports through enhanced local production”. Accordingly, he said various regions have been maximizing efforts accordingly. “Oromia Region has thus far cultivated wheat on 355 hectares,” he said.
Less than 40% of farmers in Ethiopia use fertilizer, according to a research study, and “those who do, apply rates significantly below those recommended. This low fertilizer use is primarily due to prices being two to three times higher than prices on the world markets.” AS