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Sunday, 3 April 2011
Djibouti Generates Grain on 3,000ht Gesture
The government of Djibouti is harvesting 60,000ql of wheat from its farm in Western Arsi around Serofta, in the Oromia Regional State.
The tiny nation, which is Ethiopia’s gateway to the sea, had been granted 3,000ht of prime land in June 2009, where it started growing wheat immediately.
This land used to be part of the Bale Agricultural Development Enterprise, a state enterprise supervised by the Privatisation and Public Enterprises Supervisory Agency (PPESA).
The land given to Djibouti, free of any payment, was transferred from the enterprise by the order of the PPESA in June 2009. It was in keeping with a promise the government made during a visit of President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti and his wife to Ethiopia in July 2008, which included a meeting with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.
The farm is named Serofta Modern Farm of the Republic of Djibouti, after the area in Western Arsi where it is found. The state enterprise which gave some of its land to Djibouti was known for growing wheat and barley on 30,000ht of land since the time of the military regime.
Since the fall of that regime in 1991, the enterprise’s land has been doled out to investors and farmers. Now it is left with less than 10,000ht.
Aden Omer, general manager of the farm, says that the 3,000ht given to Djibouti was the best piece of the land it had.
“The land gives 20 to 30ql per hectare, depending on the weather,” he said.
Aden said that 21ql of wheat was expected to be harvested from the 2,828ht on which they planted wheat.
“Before the end of this month we will transport 20,000ql to Djibouti,” he said. “This is a very good thing for us. It makes our friendship with Ethiopia stronger.”
“Once this land has been privatised, we should follow up with the developments there. But I do not have any new information now,” said Deribu Jemal, head of the Oromia Land Development, Administration and Environmental Protection Bureau.
Djibouti has a surface area of 23,180 square kilometres and a population of over 500,000. A 2005 report of the World Food Programme (WFP) indicated that 30,000 people faced the risk of hunger in the small, Horn of Africa nation. Source. Addis Fortune