Cooperatives across the country will soon get grain silos to be constructed at a cost of 22.4 million Br. Four regional states will see 25 silos constructed between them by the Federal Cooperative Agency, owner and coordinator of the project, under a Memorandum of Understanding signed with the heads of regional cooperatives on October 11, 2018.
Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), a project inspired by the late Kofi Annan and founded in 2006 through a partnership between the Rockefeller and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations, calls for a uniquely African “green revolution” to improve smallholder farm productivity by preserving the environment and investing in agriculture.
The Agency, along with the Kenya-headquartered AGRA, kicked off the construction of the silos in a bid to alleviate the shortage of warehouses and help cooperative unions with a reliable and effective market outlet, said Abdi Mumed, deputy director for the Agency.
The construction of the silos, to be completed by 12 contractors, is expected to be finalised in three months before AGRA’s three-year project in Ethiopia is phased out. The program is expected to increase the income of 26,415 farmers in the four regional states. It also aims at building the capacity of the farmers who are involved in teff and wheat production by creating market opportunities.
An expert on food security and poverty reduction at Addis Abeba University’s College of Development Studies believes that the silos will play a significant role in reducing crop losses. “To create a sense of ownership, the cooperative unions will contribute equity to the construction,” Abdi said. “The cooperative unions will cover differences from actual and estimated costs and price differences due to inflation.”
Currently, there are 82,000 primary and 381 cooperative unions organised under three cooperative federations. These unions have a total of 17.4 million members, who registered 20.1 billion Br in capital and hold savings of 13.4 billion Br in banks.