The Ethiopian Agricultural Transformaiton Agency (ATA) head office staff in collaboration with the ATA Oromia Regional Office launched a campaign to plant 10,000 Avocado seedlings in the Oromia region.

The first round of planting of the avocado seedlings was conducted in Lume Ada’a woreda of the Oromia region with the presence of Zonal and woreda agriculture officials and experts.

The seedlings were planted in the farms of smallholder farmers who have prepared their lands for the planting with supports by the ATA and agricultural experts.

Khalid Bomba, the CEO of ATA after planting avocado seedlings in the farms of smallholder farmers noted that the campaign is a follow up to the initiative of Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed to plant 4billion trees in the current rainy season.

“The ATA is planting avocado seedlings so as to achieve the goals of the “Green Legacy” as well as benefiting smallholder farmers to improve their income through the production of the fruit,” Khalid said. “The avocados will also earn the country the much needed foreign currency by boosting the export of agricultural commodities,” Khalid Added.

Head of the East Shewa Zone Agriculture Department, Ahmed Seid, on his part said that the ATA has been helping to transform the agricultural sector through providing support across the agricultural value chains. “[ATA’s] support in introducing and implementing the Agricultural Commercialization Cluster approach on Wheat and Tef have benefited smallholder farmers,” Ahmed said. “The Agricultural One-Stop Centers and Direct Seed Market projects are improving the lives of smallholder farmers through improving access to inputs,” he added.

The recent works in expanding the avocado cluster farm in the area are also very hopeful to improve the lives of smallholder incomes, according to Ahmed. “This planting of improved avocado seedling also targets two things the green development to fight climate change and supporting smallholder farmers to improve their income,” he concluded.

Abebe Diriba, Senior Director for ATA Oromia Region Office said the ATA has been supporting smallholder farmers to plant avocado in their farms recently. “So far the ATA has helped smallholder farmers to cover 31 hectares of land with an improved avocado variety in Oromia” Abebe confirmed. “The seedlings are an improved variety called ‘Hass’ which gives production in two years time, better yields and it is highly demanded in several avocado importing countries,” says Abebe. The ATA has established seedling nursery sites that produce improved variety and hybrid seedling of fruits and vegetables.

Other ATA regional Offices are also preparing to plant seedlings in their respective regions.