Ireland, Ethiopia sign agreement to work together on agricultural business development
October 6, 2013
– Simon Coveney, the agriculture minister, signed the agreement with his Ethiopian counterpart, Tefera Derbew, as part of yesterday's third annual Africa Ireland Economic Forum at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, the theme of which was 'Building Partnerships'.
The two countries will work jointly on agricultural development and agri- business investments in their two countries. This co-operation will include the exchange of information on agricultural policy and the encouragement of bilateral private agri-business collaboration.
Ministers Coveney and Derbew participated in a panel discussion on 'Agri-Business - Opportunities for Irish agribusiness in Africa'.
Mr Coveney said: "African agricultural output is predicted to rise from $280bn ([euro]205bn) today to $900bn ([euro]660bn) by 2030.
Ireland, as a major food producer and a leading innovator in agriculture technologies, can make a significant contribution to enabling African agriculture develop in a sustainable manner."
Mr Coveney and Mr Derbew held a bilateral meeting to discuss Irish and Ethiopian agriculture and reaffirmed their commitment to continued cooperation between the two countries.
In this regard, the ministers signed a joint Statement of Intent which encourages continued cooperation between Ireland and Ethiopia in the areas of agriculture, in particular by the countries' respective National Research Agencies, consideration of a possible double taxation agreement and in new technologies which facilitate access to credit.
The minister also reviewed a project which has been approved for funding from the Africa Agri-food Development Fund.
MaGrow is a technology which uses magnetic inserts to improve spraying/ irrigation equipment used for crop spraying. The project is under development in Nova, UCD, and will create jobs in both Ireland and Ethiopia.
Mr Coveney underlined that this type of private sector engagement is crucial in efforts to develop sustainable agriculture production in Africa.
If the problems associated with food insecurity are to be addressed, agriculture production systems in developing countries must have access to new technologies which will provide efficiencies and increase productivity.
(c) 2013 Thomas Crosbie Media