Addis Ababa March 21, 2017 The 3rd Integrated Agro-Industrial Park to be built with an outlay of 2.6 billion Birr in around Yergalem town of Southern Nations, Nationalities and People Regional State will be of crucial importance to reduce the wastage of products, farmers in SNNP regional state said.
Farmers who talked to ENA said the park is important for the betterment of their livelihood by minimizing the loss of products because of lack of markets and creating new jobs.
Though the area is known for its abundant fruit production, farmers are not benefitting from it, since most of the products rotten because of absence of industries that process the items.
One of the farmers from Hida Kaliti Kebele, Kebede Germam, a coffee grower, hopes that he will get fair price for his product when the park will be operational.
Kebede said that he earns less from the coffee he has been growing over the past years due to lack of access to market.
“We are very satisfied with the promise the government made to make us benefit from our products by creating markets” he said.
He expressed hope that the park will brings development to the area. “We think that the park is very useful for present and future generations and for the region’s development.”
Another farmer Areda Mefeto said mentioned that lack of transportation that would link them to markets restricted farmers from benefiting from what they produce.
Because of remoteness of the area farmers were forced to sell their products with low prices. Areda hope this will change for good with the development of the agro-processing park.
Deputy Chief Administrator of Sidama Zone Mamire Moke said that rural transformation centers that enable farmers supply their products as raw material inputs to industries in the park will be constructed in three woredas in the zone.
Mamire added that there is 720,000 hectares of land that will be used for the cultivation of coffee, cereals, grain stalks and a variety of vegetables and fruits.
Upon completion, the integrated agro-industrial park would have more than 60 medium agricultural processing factories.