Ethiopia: FSCS – Centers Right Places for Productivity Increment

opinion

Ethiopia is aspiring to transform its economy from an agriculture based one into industrial based economy. However, this transformation can not be achieved if the nation underplays the role of modern and technology-based agriculture. The success of agriculture-led industrial economic transformation will be acctualized if the nation’s farming practices are supported by agricultural innovation, agro -ecology based inputs and green economy. In this regard, the role of Farmers Service Centers is vital.

The expansion of Farmers Service Center(FSCs) has a significant role to improve production and productivity. They will enable farmers to get quality farm inputs: improved seeds , agro- chemicals , farm tools, veterinary drugs, advisory services and training.

The aggregate product of all this will help smallholder farmers to increase their production level. Here, it must be noted that when production and productivity increases, the life styles of farmers will dramatically change. This will also change the image of the country and support the growing economy of the nation.

To meet Ethiopia’s comprehensive and ambitious vision of development the agriculture sector requires due attention and well planned actions. Indeed, access to timely quality agricultural supplies with affordable price has a significant role in this regard. Effective and timely supply of inputs to farmers has a critical role to further speed up agricultural transformation and to support the industrial sector. Access to high quality seeds, fertilizers, farming tools and equipment, veterinary services and supplies is decisive.

The expansion of efficient agricultural-input markets has a decisive role for the success of nation’s GTP II plan. The widening of such services has a crucial role in improving smallholder farmers production and productivity. Expansion of Centers is not all about increasing the number of FSCs, but also to let the farming community embrace new technologies.

Seeing the multi- purpose of FSCs, the government, along with its development partners, has planned to open and expand twenty FSCs throughout the country.

Since 80 percent of the population is engaged in agriculture and the nation has earned a greater share of its GDP from it, expansion of FSCs should not be an agenda to be compromised.

It is said that Ethiopia is among the pioneers to start farming but, when it comes to productivity, the issue of food security ,at times ,specially when inclement weather surfaces proves a challenge.

As a springboard for the industrialization, prioritizing Farmers Service Center will serve as an engine to speed up the economy. Expansion of vouchers system, interactive voice response, soil mapping, agricultural mechanization and others should be seen as the core centers of transformation.

Currently, the government has taken various decisive measures to further speedup the agriculture sector. It is laying corner stones to build integrated agro-industrial parks on different agro-ecologies.

Despite the fact that the government, stakeholders and other development partners are paying due attention to improve the agriculture sector, still there are several challenges .These bottlenecks beg for the joint effort of all stakeholders. In this regard, farmers need a kind of farm input utilization mechanisms that should be given focal attention.

For centuries, Ethiopian farmers had been practicing the traditional means of farming system. Until recently, there is a tendency of improper utilization of agro – chemicals. For that reason, farmers need holistic and professionalized service approaches to transform their farming practices.

Moreover, farmers need to acquire enough supply of all range of inputs. Providing all types of agro- chemicals, veterinary drugs and agro- chemical spray have the potential to increase productivity.

Since Farm Service Centers are established with a vision to increase production and productivity of small holder farmers availability of quality farm inputs has a key places to speed up the agricultural sector.

To this end, various stake holders, including the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources and others are working hand and glove. What is more, knowledge-based inputs utilization should be engraved in the heart of every farmer.

Apart from supplying the necessary farm inputs , centers should have to be places where job opportunities are created and investment is promoted.

Agriculture is the base of country’s economy. It is a livelihood for millions of Ethiopians. Despite the fact that the country has century-old experiences in farming, food security seems to pose a threat when inclement weather surfaces. In this regard, the role of FSCs to transfer the farming sector can not be gainsaid. All attempts to transfer the agricultural sector has to be integrated with inputs from farmers. After all, it is they who have understood the secret of life. Though most of them are far from modern education they are too close to secrets of earth.

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