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A signing ceremony for a grant agreement was held on 6 March 2012, between Hiroyuki Kishino, Ambassador, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Ethiopia and Ahmed Shide, State Minister of Finance and Economic Development at the Ministry. Based upon the said agreement, 490 million Japanese Yen, [about 109 million Ethiopian Birr] will be extended by Japan to Ethiopia.
On this occasion, Hiroyuki Kishino explained that the agreement was signed for Japan’s Grant-in-aid for the Food Security Project for Underprivileged Farmers with the aim of helping Ethiopia increase its food production.
Hiroyuki Kishino further said that agriculture is a key sector in the Growth and Transformation Plan [GTP] with a projected average annual growth rate of 8.6%. Facilitated by a 10-year program named the Agricultural Sector Policy and Investment Framework (PIF), the achievement in agricultural growth for the first year of the GTP was very impressive, reaching 9% which was higher than the target.
Hiroyuki Kishino underlined that agriculture continued to be a priority sector in Japan’s ODA policy towards Ethiopia in view of the dominant role it played in the Ethiopian economy. Food security, which includes agricultural and rural development as well as water supply, is one of the two main pillars of Japan’s ODA policy in Ethiopia. In this regard, he said that Japan would continue to extend its assistance to Ethiopia for increased crop production and productivity in agriculture in accordance with the GTP and the PIF.