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The second integrated agro-industrial parks (IAIPs) project steering committee meeting held at Elilly Hotel.

The meeting was held on October 12,202 by introductory remark made by Mr. Teka GebreYesus, State Minister for Ministry of Trade and Industry.

While delivering a remark Mr. Taka Gebreyesus said that “we know that it is impossible to transform the economy without having a strong manufacturing sector. Thus, our government has been striving for some time now to build up the agro-processing sector.”

By expanding the industrial parks, the government is planning to integrate the demand side of the food chain to the supply in an efficient manner thus improves access to market, technology, and knowledge of smallholder farmers and aligned industries.

He added that we are very much aware, however, as an emerging economy; IAIP will not at all be an easy task. Hence, we are fostering partnerships with development partners to mobilize additional IAIP support projects for the full operation of the IAIPS, and creating governance platforms like project steering committee at the federal and regional level which is important to provide proper leadership to ensure synergies.

UNIDO representative and director of the regional office hub Ms. Aurelia Patrizia Calabro on her part, said that as we all know, Ethiopia’s economy is mainly based on the agriculture sector that plays an important role in the livelihood system of the country. The sector is the main source of income, leading foreign exchange earner and accounting for 35% of the national Gross Domestic Product. She also added, the government of Ethiopia recognizes the importance of developing a strong manufacturing sector for a sustainable transformation of the economy.

The government has been striving to build a market-oriented agriculture and strengthen the agro-processing sector in the hope of producing and exporting manufactured and value-added products. Their products face several challenges in complying with internationally- recognized quality standards.

To lead and support this program, the ministry of trade and industry in collaboration with UNIDO and other development partners has mobilized resources to support the operations of the pilot project initiative.

IAIPs also help in lowering the costs by reducing post-harvest losses, transportation costs, and energy costs. These parks also ensure higher returns due to high-quality output, off-season availability, better traceability, and enhanced productivity. Successful implementation of the IAIPs would accelerate the economic transformation process of the country.

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