BY EPHREM ANDARAGCHEW
ADDIS ABABA-Spreading Ethiopia’s “Green Legacy” across Africa and implementing measures that maximize food security and self-sufficiency would able to guarantee Africans the basic necessities of life without reliance on charity, said Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD).
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 35th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) yesterday, the Ethiopian prime minister further said that Ethiopia, beginning in 2019, has launched a major reforestation initiative under the slogan “Green Legacy as afforestation is one of the most effective ways of climate change mitigation.
Accordingly, Ethiopia had planned to plant 20 billion trees across the country over the course of a four-year period while, in a mere three years, the country has managed to plant 18billion tree seedlings.
Besides, this year, with the Green Legacy initiative in its final year, Ethiopia will not only meet its national target but plan to surpass the target by reaching 25 billion. Additionally, Ethiopia, through this initiative, has sent tree seedlings to neighboring countries to inspire regional efforts, he added.
“This clearly helps to deal with the effects of deforestation while a century ago, Ethiopia’s forest coverage was 35 percent, over the past two decades, our forest coverage has stood at just 4 percent,” he said.
“Efforts have to make to combat the negative impact of COVID-19 that recoupled with climate change:floods, droughts, desert locusts, and other climate-related natural disasters that have increased food insecurity for millions of our citizens not only in Ethiopia but also in Africa.”
Africa, which has endowed 60 percent of the world’s arable land, requires to use its natural assets to maximize agricultural output and feed the people without reliance on external assistance, he said.
“For instance, in the past two years, Ethiopia has made substantial investments in intensifying summer wheat production through irrigation. Our farmers have been able to control and manage production factors to maximize yields using irrigation.
So, nationally, we have attained production of 20 million quintals of irrigated wheat farmed on over 500,000 hectares. This has generated nearly 60 billion Birr income for our farmers,” he indicated .
The premier , hence, said that these efforts are generating great results and will, in the imaginable future, begin to contribute to our food security and self-sufficiency, despite the climate variability our region is confronted with.
The February 6/2022