– It is to harvest 6.9 mln quintals of crop
– Investors will incur at least five billion birr to pay workers
One million daily laborers are required by the West Gondar Zone, which is a part of the Amhara Region, to harvest 6.9 million quintals this month.
The call comes as the zone faces a challenge to hiring workers due to the war in Tigray and Wollo, which were major sources of daily labourers for big agriculture farms in West Gondar, though the practice had existed for decades.
The daily laborers are expected to harvest crops planted on 438,000 hectares of land, which is covered by sesame, soya bean and green mung bean.
West Gondar, known for being the major oilseed belt of Ethiopia, covers areas like Quara, Metema Yohannes, and Midre Genet. More output is expected this year, according to the Zone’s Agriculture Bureau.
“We expect more harvest this year and there is no uncultivated land, even mountains are covered with oilseeds,” said Ephrem Worku, deputy head of the Bureau.
In 2021 Meher season, 930,000 quintals of oilseed were harvested from 130,945 hectares of land, according to the Ethiopian Statistics Service (ESS). The average yield is seven quintals per hectare. The figure is expected to double this year.
“We have made a mass cultivation in cooperation with investors. Though our first intention was to harvest using mechanized farming, we did not manage to get that,” added Ephrem, explaining the reason behind the call for over a million daily laborers.
The task of the office is limited to recruiting daily laborers and facilitating the hiring process. Investors are expected to make the payment and they are expected to incur at least five billion birr. The daily workers will be paid between 250 birr and 300 birr depending on the type of work.
A camp has been readied for the accommodation of workers, according to Ephrem, who said: “Medical treatment will be available in case of emergency.”
Authorities in the zone have also been working with federal and regional security agencies and the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) to improve the security situation in the area.
“Our zone is now very stable and security forces are ready to make the area safe during the harvesting, which could take at least 20 days.”