The Ethiopian government is currently focusing on utilizing surface, groundwater. As part of the efforts, several tangible changes are taking place in the agriculture sector. Ethiopian farmers engaging in subsistence farming for the longest time are now producing cash crops. This should generate higher income for themselves and the country at large.
Many farmers are using irrigation schemes to multiply production at their plot of land. If this trend keeps up Ethiopia will soon become a self-reliant middle income economy. As a result, the Ethiopian government is striving to develop irrigation programs which could alleviate rain dependency and boost production and output.
Moreover, the irrigation based agricultural program aims at strengthening the national food security. All natural resources including land, surface and underground water are abundant in the country. What is more, the government’s strong political commitment and its sound policies and strategies are key drivers to the success of the plans.
Owing to the natural resource utilization policy of the government, the country is doing its best to introduce subsistence farmers to irrigation. As the GTP- II master plan and other relevant documents show, the country’s surface water can develop over 3 million hectares of land. This will help to develop a total of 179 medium and large-scale farms in various places, on one hand. On the other hand, Ethiopia can develop 16 medium and large-scale irrigation schemes using groundwater. This in turn will irrigate over two million hectare of land.