News: Over half of Ethiopia's fertilizer order for current year arrives at Djibouti port

Recently, a vessel carrying 636,600 quintals of NPS Boron fertilizers docked at the port of Djibouti (Photo: EABC)

Addis Abeba – The Ethiopian Agricultural Businesses Corporation (EABC) has reported the arrival of just over half the soil fertilizer ordered for the ongoing “Bega” dry season and the upcoming “Mehir” main harvesting season at the Port of Djibouti.

In September 2023, Girma Amente, Minister of Agriculture, unveiled the government’s robust plan to procure 23 million quintals of fertilizer for the current harvest, signaling a marked increase from the previous seasons. This year’s fertilizer procurement is nearly twice the 14 million quintals of fertilizer imported in the previous harvesting season.

The Corporation has indicated that of the total fertilizer procured for this season’s harvest, 12 million quintals (52% of the total) have been received at the Djibouti port. Out of the arrived fertilizers at Djibouti, 11.7 million quintals have already been transported into Ethiopia and “are in the process of being distributed to farmers through agricultural cooperatives and unions.”

Despite these developments, media reports have indicated that ongoing conflicts in different parts of the country, including the Amhara region, are disrupting the delivery of this vital fertilizer to small-scale farmers.

Speaking to Deutsche Welle, Tesfaw Batable, head of the Amhara Disaster Prevention and Food Security Program Coordinating Commission, recently highlighted the conflict in the region, which has led to restrictions on people’s movement, resulting in delays in the distribution of essential agricultural inputs as well as food grains.

The initial consignment of fertilizers designated for this harvest season began arriving at the Djibouti port by late October 2023.

This fiscal year, the procurement and distribution of fertilizers commenced much earlier compared to previous harvesting seasons.

Last year, the timely delivery of these vital agricultural inputs to small-scale farmers across the country was marred by significant disruptions. This severe scarcity of fertilizers led to widespread demonstrations throughout the nation, with protest hubs emerging in various regions, including Amhara and Oromia.

In addition to distribution delays, small-scale farmers face challenges in affording the soaring prices of fertilizers, which reached a maximum of 12,000 birr per quintal last year. AS

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