City to Set Up Complexes to Rehabilitate Farmers


Close to 32,000 families will benefit from the project




Addis Abeba City Administration is set to construct complexes to rehabilitate displaced farmers in five of its districts at a cost of 420 million Br.

The beneficiaries of the project will be farmers who were displaced as a result of infrastructure development, public housing and transportation projects beginning in the mid-1990s from five districts including Yeka, Bole, Aqaqi, Nifas Silk Laphto and Kolfe Qeranio. The complexes will lie on a 65,000ha of land.

About 35 multipurpose buildings will be constructed in these districts to house rearing, manufacturing, commercial centres, schools and apartments. A project office, established for this purpose, has identified 5,997 household farmers under 511 associations eligible to participate in training to be engaged in manufacturing, urban agriculture, construction and other service.

“When the farmers’ land was taken for development of infrastructures, adequate public deliberation was not carried out,” said Kurkura Wafo, Rehabilitation Project Office general manager, “and the farmers didn’t get sufficient compensation or enough time to prepare.”

The project has classified five categories for the 32,000 families. In the first category are 2,087 households whose members do not have basic incomes. They will be eligible for a social security program, where each household gets 16,000 Br to 28,000 Br a year, depending on the size of the family.

Unemployed farmers that can work will be given technical and vocational training through the project. The remaining three clusters identify farmers who have small to high incomes.

The City Administration had budgeted 315 million Br for the project for the just-ended fiscal year. A social security fund made up for around 16pc of this.

The plan also targets to give training and arrange access to finance for farmers who have little or no income. After completion of the training, the farmers will be eligible for the 150 million Br of seed money that will be deposited at the Addis Credit & Saving Institution S.C. Beginning this fiscal year, the project will also build complexes where the farmers can produce, manufacture and exhibit their products.

“To begin the project right away, we have signed an agreement with the Federal Construction Corporation,” said Kurkura of the project office, which was established two years ago.

“We have been demanding for better compensation and rehabilitation for the past 12 years,” a 60-year-old farmer and father of eight, Zewudu Digafe tells Fortune.

He is one of the representatives of the farmers that have been displaced.

“In our project proposal, we requested compensation in the form of apartments and support to set up new businesses. After deliberation, they government came up with this plan,” Zewudu told Fortune.

In all of the five sub-cities, committees to represent the farmers of seven members have been formed, and one from each will have a representative in the Central Committee at the Rehabilitation Project Office.

The farmers should have been engaged in the decision-making process, according to Ali Hassen (PhD), an assistant professor at Addis Abeba University (AAU) who has over one and half decades of experience teaching sociology, development and social administration.

“The project should take into consideration what the skill and demand of the farmers are through direct participation,” Ali says, “then they can offer a package based on the response.”



By BEHAILU AYELE
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Published on Jul 07,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 949]


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