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Netherlands extends USD 50 mln in grant

Ethiopia and the Netherlands on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the Agricultural Commercialization Clusters (ACC) Initiative amounting to USD 50 million in the form of grant.

The MoU aimed at commercializing ACC projects that the country targets to benefit the small holder agriculture through an inclusive and environmentally sustainable approach.

The project would significantly contribute to increasing smallholder farmers’ income, improving agro-processing and value-addition beyond the creation of off-farm employment opportunities, it was indicated.

State Minister of Finance, Admasu Nebebe and Charge d’Affairs of the Dutch Embassy, Thijis Wounstrahis signed the agreement.

The project will be also implemented through the agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) on the geographical cluster of the four major regions including, Tigray, Amhara, Oromia and Southern Nations Nationalities Regional States (SNNP) between 2019 and 2023.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, State Minister of Finance Admasu said the financial grant will have a pivotal contribution to create economic opportunities for Ethiopian small holder farmers by improving access to domestic and international markets. (ENA)

Ethiopia’s satellite launch slated for November

Ethiopia’s earth observatory satellite will be launched into space by November 2019 as preparations are finalized, according to Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute. 

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Institute Director-General Solomon Belay said “we have completed about 95 percent of the satellite, and checking and launching will be conducted after September.”

Upon launching the satellite will help provide agricultural information, water and irrigation shade amount, rural development as well as climate change in the country.

The satellite will also scientifically report data of the forest coverage in the country. For instance, the 4 billion tree planting initiative progress of the seedlings can be supervised through the satellite.

Solomon pointed out that professionals in the area have already received trailing to control and maintain the satellite.

Institute Deputy Director-General, Abdisa Yilma said on his part that the final work left is to check the satellite before launching it into space and will be ready by November.

The satellite is being built in collaboration with Chinese government. (ENA)

Residents of West Oromia denounce Shene armed group

Residents of West Oromia took to the streets on Tuesday to condemn the armed group of Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) known as Shene. 
Among the thousands of people who took to the streets in West Wollega and Buno Bedele Zones of Oromia State to denounce the armed group OLF Shene operating in the area were Mezgebu Benti, Assefa Beyene, Tamrat Guteta and Jemal Abdu.

Youth participants of the demonstration called on the government to ensure rule of law by stopping the activities of OLF Shene group that kills and loots the people by falsely claiming to stand for Oromo people.

Residents of the two zones, among the areas that the group is operating, protested in Gimbi and Bedele towns to denounce the group.

Among the demonstrators, some said there are anti-development and anti-Oromo quarters are conspiring to reverse the freedom of the Oromo people which is secured after 150 years bitters struggle.

Mezgebu Benti a demonstrator said OLF Shene is undermining the safety and wellbeing of the people. (ENA)

Ministry warns of possible locust threats

The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Resources (MoLR) warned farmers on Thursday June 27, 2019 to remain vigilant on possible threat of swarm of locusts during this rainy season.

Briefing journalists on Thursday, the Ministry’s Plant Conservation Director Zebdios Salato said that fragmented swarm of mature locusts have entered different parts of the country.

He assured farmers that the mature locusts do not inflict damage on the crops at the moment.

The mature female locusts will, however, give birth to grasshoppers that need 40 days to mature, the director said, adding that, eventually, these grasshoppers would inflict heavy loss on crops.

Therefore, Plant Conservation Director, Zebdios, urged farmers to immediately kill the mature locusts, especially in the morning, since locusts are cold blooded animals that need sunlight for some hours to fly.

In addition, he revealed that the locusts are currently spreading to Oromia, Somali, Afar, Amhara and Tigray regional states as well as the surroundings of Dire Dawa City Administration. (ENA)