Addis Ababa March 14/2017 Cornerstone was laid today by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn for the Integrated Agro-Industrial Park to be developed around Yergalem town in SNNP regional state.
Speaking at the occasion, the Premier said that the park will enable farmers improve quality and amount of production thereby transform the agriculture sector.
Farmers who were producing for only household consumption two decades ago when the extension program started, are now managed to harvest surplus that even pave the way for the opening of agro-industries, Hailemariam said.
He also added that the nation has reached at this very important stage through the strong efforts of the farmers.
The park will provide an opportunity to value add to agricultural products particularly coffee grown in the area, he added. Two of Ethiopia’s finest coffees namely the Sidama and Yirgachefe are grown in Southern Ethiopia.
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Director-General Li Young, said that UNIDO is working to see the development of industrial parks in Africa.
Ethiopia is a pilot for this innovated mechanism in implementing development of industrial park which would enable to transform the agriculture sector, he added.
It makes Ethiopia a model in accelerating sustainable development through industrial parks in Africa, the director said.
He noted that UNIDO is committed to further expand its contribution to ensure structural transformation in Africa through development of industrial parks in Africa.
The Integrated Agro-Industrial Park to be built in Yirgalem is expected to consume 2.6 billion Birr.