24 February 2019 Adama – The Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) developed and handed over Soil Fertility Status and Fertilizer Type Recommendations maps to the Oromia Regional State. The maps are the soil fertility status maps of 285 woredas and rural towns in Oromia along with their corresponding fertilizer type recommendations.

On the occasion Dr. Girma Amente, Oromia Regional State Rural Development Sector Coordinator with the rank of Vice President, noted the importance of the maps in identifying the types of soil fertility status with fertilizer recommendation. “Our agriculture was mainly led by the traditional knowledge of smallholder farmers, but by applying knowledge based agricultural practices such as this map will transform our agriculture,” said Dr. Girma. “It will help farmers understand how to nurture the soil on their farms to increase crop yields and raise their incomes,” he added. “This will definitely contribute to poverty eradication and ensuring food security.”

Ato Daba Debele, Head of the Oromia Regional State Bureau of Agriculture and Natural Resources on his part said the maps are practical tools for agricultural experts to help farmers applying soil-test based recommendations to increase production and productivity. “As our farmers need to produce more than subsistence and supply to the export market, this study will lay the ground,” said Ato Daba. Ato Daba also called on ATA and other partners to provide the necessary support including training and capacity building so as agricultural experts and Development Agents use the soil fertility status and fertilizer recommendation maps properly.

Ato Khalid Bomba CEO of ATA on his opening remark noted one of the ATA works to transform the Ethiopian agriculture is though making studies and providing recommendations to solve the major bottlenecks of the sector. As knowing the soil is one of the basis for agricultural development, these soil fertility status and fertilizer recommendation maps will solve the challenges related with fertilizer application, added Ato Khalid.

The Ethiopian Soil Information systems (EthioSIS) project is mapping the soil fertility status and fertilizer recommendations of all 748 agricultural woredas in Ethiopia. The project has analyzed more than 97% of the country’s agricultural soils using extensive soil sampling and remote sensing satellite imagery. The project has handed over soil fertility status and fertilizer recommendation maps to Amhara, SNNP, Tigray, and Harari regions and Dire Dawa administration. The soil map for Benishangul Gumuz and Gambella are expected to follow shortly while soil fertility analysis and mapping are underway for Somali and Afar regions.