Addis Ababa, Ethiopia has become self-sufficient in wheat for the first time in its history, African Development Bank (ADB) President Akinwumi A. Adesina said.
In a speech he delivered at the Norman Borlaug International Dialogue-World Food Prize 2023-Des Moines, Iowa, USA, the president said that Ethiopia’s wheat production has increased from 1.4 million hectares in 2022 by an additional 1.6 million metric tons in 2023.
“This has made Ethiopia self-sufficient in wheat and for the first time in its history it has become an exporter of wheat to neighboring countries,” Adesina noted.
According to him, African Development Bank’s flagship program Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) had distributed more than 100,000 tons of certified seeds of heat-tolerant wheat varieties.
“It expanded the cultivated wheat area under irrigated low land from less than 5,000 hectares in 2018 and 2019 to 1.4 million hectares in 2022 and 2023. Wheat yields (therefore) increased on average from 2 tons per hectare to 4 tons per hectare.”
The African Development Bank’s flagship program Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) has brought together the international agricultural research centers of the CGIAR, national and regional research centers, seed and fertilizer companies and agri-business to deliver climate resilient agricultural technologies at scale.
In just four years, the TAAT platform delivered heat tolerant wheat varieties, drought tolerant maize varieties and high-yielding rice varieties to 12 million farmers, and increased food production by an additional 25 million metric tons.
The president stated that TAAT is also boosting rice production. “New high yielding rice varieties from the program have been cultivated on 1.4 million hectares, impacting 3.2 million households.”
Source: Ethiopian News Agency