Ethiopia’s wheat and maize production surges


ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA – Ethiopia’s wheat production is on the rise as the government has devoted more resources to the production of products such as irrigation and input supply, according to a report by Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Wheat production for the 2020-21 marketing year is expected to reach 5.1 million tonnes due to a small Desert Locust infestation, resulting in losses in quantity and quality.

However, USDA’s forecast for Ethiopia’s wheat production for MY 2021-22 is expected to reach a record 5.18 million tonnes. Wheat production in Ethiopia is limited to smallholder farmers who use rain-fed agriculture, but the government recently allocated $ 6 million to create better irrigation, input supply and machinery rental services.

Ethiopia remains a net importer of wheat, importing about 25% needed to meet domestic demand. The USDA predicts that the country will import around 1.5 million tonnes.

The USDA forecasts Ethiopia’s maize production in MY 2021-22 to be 8.63 million tonnes. Maize production in Ethiopia has increased over the past 20 years due to improved hybrid seeds, increased food and feed demand, fattening of livestock and dairy development. The country is expected to import around 35,000 tonnes of maize during the 2021-2022 marketing year using food aid alone.

Sorghum production in Ethiopia is facing an infestation of locusts and weeds. The USDA predicts that commodity production will remain at five million tonnes in MY 2021-22. Ethiopia is expected to import 25,000 tonnes of sorghum in MY 2021-22 to meet consumer demand of 5.17 million tonnes in the same marketing year.

Based on the construction of a new malt house and increased demand for food and feed barley, Ethiopia’s production of this product has increased. The USDA estimates that Ethiopia’s barley production for the 2021-22 marketing year will be 2.36 million tonnes, a slight increase from the previous year. Barley imports in marketing year 2021-22 are expected to total 4,000 tonnes, as domestic production is expected to meet local demand.


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