10 January 2019, Hawassa – Khalid Bomba (ATA, CEO) and Million Matheos (President, SNNPR) held a discussion with a view to strengthening the Regional Transformation Council (RTC). The discussion centered around making the RTC efficient in leading the Agricultural Commercialization Cluster (ACC) and Farmers Production Cluster (FPC) works in the region.

On the occasion, Mr. Million noted the importance of expanding irrigation farming in woredas where Integrated Shallow Ground Water Irrigation Development (ISGWID) has already carried out to ensure sustainable production and supply of raw materials for the agro-processing industries.

Mr. Million appreciated the supports ATA has been rendering so far and stressed the need to further strengthen the production and productivity side to ensure a sustainable supply of products for the agro-processing industries to be established in the Yirgalem Integrated Agro-Industrial Park. During the discussion, Million expressed the support his region would like to receive from ATA.

“The construction of Yirgalem Integrated Agro-Industrial Park is going well and some of the investors are already in the pipeline to start operation,” Mr. Million said.  The supply side is not actively going well along with the construction of the park. “The region is committed to establishing a new project office which is fully working in supporting the production and productivity side to ensure the volume and quality of production for the industries” Million noted, and further requested ATA’s assistance in allocating staff for this project office.

Mr. Khalid, on his part, highlighted ATA’s initiatives to help transform the Ethiopian agriculture. “We work in the agricultural sector to find solutions for major bottlenecks, and strengthening the value chain of some priority commodities is one of them” he noted. As horticulture is one of the priority commodities particularly in the SNNPR, ATA will work with all to make sure that a sustainable supply of inputs for the agro-processing industries being established in Yirgalem Integrated Agro-Industrial Park.

Mr. Khalid received a briefing from Biru Wolde the CEO of the Regional Industry Park Development Corporation (IPDC) on the performance of the Yirgalem Integrated Agro-Industrial Park. According to Mr. Biru, the construction is going well, an agro-processing plant that processes Avocado will be operational in about two months”.  The overall construction of the park will be completed within the next two years, the CEO added.

Yirgalem Integrated Agro-Industrial Park is under construction and is expected to be fully functional by 2020.