According to the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the construction of four pilot integrated agro-processing industrial parks (IAIPs) costing USD 10 billion, is expected to be completed at the end of this Ethiopian fiscal year.
The development of agro-industries offers an opportunity for Ethiopia to accelerate economic development and achieve its industrial development objectives. Agribusiness can help meet the potential of agriculture and advance industrialization in the country if addressed correctly.
IAIPs are seen as a vehicle for structural economic transformation through the marketing of the agricultural sector. They are also expected to help pave the way for the country’s Vision 2025 to become Africa’s leading production hub.
Ayalneh Abawa, the ministry’s advisor for integrated agro-processing parks, said that the project was delayed by six months due to the redesigning of the parks.
“The study for the parks took 2 years and the construction was expected to be completed at the end of December 2018.”
According to the advisor, “electric power is the challenge at present as the budget was not allocated. Shortage of foreign currency inhibited the construction of substations,” he added.
Each park is expected to involve approximately 80- 100 investors. He said, 80 percent of these will be local and the rest will be foreigners.
After the completion of the 4 IAIPs in June 2019, the remaining identified agro-industry corridors nationwide will be commissioned after 10 years, it was revealed.
The purpose of the IAIPs is to attract the private sector to establish food processing plants in areas producing bumper products by adding value to agricultural products, linking farmers to processing plants and creating wealth for them, as well as reducing post-harvest losses and accelerating rural economic growth in Ethiopia.