Ethiopia to offer one billion seedlings for six neighboring nations
It is estimated to cost over 800 million Birr
Ethiopia plans to provide over one billion seedlings for at least six neighboring nations in the forthcoming summer season. This is estimated to be worth a minimum of 800 million Birr.
Initiated by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) in a bid to combat climate change and environmental degradation, it is part of the six billion seedlings planned to be planted in Ethiopia and neighboring countries in the coming rainy season. The government seeks to plant 20 billion seedlings by 2024, to help build a green climate-resilient economy.
Recipient countries are Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Djibouti, and Eritrea, while the purpose of the initiative is to forge strong regional integration and cooperation, Researcher at the Ethiopian Environment and Forest Climate Change Commission, Adefris Worku (PhD) told The Reporter.
“Currently, indigenous and exotic tree species are being propagated in five selected model seedling centers, including in Samara, Holeta, Dire Dawa, Jigjiga, and Bahir Dar,” said Adefris.
The diversity of seeds is selected based on their economic importance, soil conservation capacity and adaption to the local environment.
However, there are fears concerning the capacity of the five seedling centers to propagate one billion seedlings in the planned period. The total capacity of the centers is not more than five million seedlings per month, said Adefris.
“It is a big milestone to provide seedlings for free to these nations,” said Adefris, requesting regional states to align with the national plan.
According to him, in order to plant five billion trees this year, 65,000 hectares of land is already identified and is being cleared for plantation.
“This annual program has created over 135,000 job opportunities in 99,000 seedling centers throughout the country,” said Tefera Mengistu (PhD), Chairperson of the Green Legacy Initiative Steering Committee.
Data obtained from the Committee show that more than 4.1 billion trees have been planted in the last fiscal year, attaining 83 percent of the target set.