762 farmers, semi pastoralists awarded
Addis Ababa, March 4, 2013 (WIC) - 762 farmers and semi pastoralists were awarded on the occasion of the 6th Farmers and Semi Pastoralists’ Festival that was held on Sunday in Bahirdar town of Amhara state.
The Festival was held under the theme: “We shall work with great dedication and perseverance to accomplish the vision of the great leader his Excellency Meles Zenawi for the agriculture sector”.
30 percent of the awardees are women while 20 percent are youths. Some 70 percent of the awardees have come on the scene for the first time this year.
The awardees were chosen for being able to boost production and productivity making use of improved agricultural technology and inputs.
Their outstanding accomplishment in basin and irrigation development has also contributed to their selection.
Moreover, the awardees have managed to produce their likes through sharing best practices with fellow farmers and semi pastoralists.
Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn who attended the event called for greater devotion towards upholding success stories registered so far in the agriculture sector. He also urged all stakeholders to cease the opportunity to renew their commitments to further enhance agricultural productivity.
“It is with a mixed feeling that we are celebrating the 6th Farmers and Semi Pastoralists’ Festival,” said PM Hailemariam. “On the one hand we feel proud of our development heroes and heroines for their outstanding achievements in agriculture. On the other, we miss by our side our great leader Meles Zenawi who is behind all these success stories.”
“The great leader has paid all the sacrifice needed for the respect of the rights and benefits of farmers and semi pastoralists,” Hailemariam said. “Today’s awardees are living testimonies to his strong solidarity with the country’s farmers and pastoralists.”
“Although the passing of his Excellency Meles Zenawi is a great loss, the nation has managed to uphold its renaissance journey without any vacuum following his loss,” he said.
Minister of Agriculture, Tefera Deribew said instilling sense of competition among farmers and semi pastoralists, and scaling up the subsequent best practices would help realize the Growth and Transformation Plan, which is a key task of the nation.
“The award given annually on Farmers and Semi Pastoralists’ Festival has produced scores of development heroes and heroines. It has enabled many others to accumulate wealth and invest on value adding,” Tefera said.
“Half way the GTP period, we have managed to produce several model farmers and semi pastoralists. Yet, we still have a long way to go in terms of scaling up the best practices to all farmers and semi pastoralists in the country,” he said.
Chief Administrator of Amhara state, Ayalew Gobeze attributed the remarkable success registered in the agriculture sector to concerted efforts of the leadership, professionals, farmers, semi pastoralists and investors. According to Aralew, recognizing these actors would serve as a basis for even better achievements in the future.
“Maximizing the benefits of farmers and semi pastoralists calls for a more organized and integrated action among all stakeholders,” Ayalew said. Such an organized and integrated action is required in all the various subsectors including natural resource conservation, irrigation development, ‘belg’ and ‘meher’ crop cultivation and animal husbandry.”
Besides medals, the nominees were awarded government saving bonds for the Grand Renaissance Dam.
According to ERTA, the Farmers and Semi Pastoralists’ Festival has recognized a total of 3,709 farmers, semi pastoralists, partners and organizations since its inception in 1999.
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