Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed visited the Integrated Agro Industrial Park and the Rural Transformation Center which are being developed in Oromia regional state.
The Integrated Agro Industrial Park (IAIP) in Central Eastern Oromia, Bulbula area, is one of the four pilot projects commissioned by the government.
Ethiopia has launched a project to construct four pilots of IAIPs in Amhara, Oromia, Tigray and SNNP regions, according to ENA.
The parks would play a crucial role in accelerating rural transformation and bring agricultural transformation.
Following his visit, the Premier said that such zones would be crucial in realizing development by accelerating structural transformation.
He said the country would benefit a lot if Diasporas organize and invest in the development of industrial parks.
An IAIP is a geographic cluster of independent firms grouped together to gain economies of scale and positive externalities by sharing infrastructure and taking advantage of opportunities for bulk purchasing and selling.
IAIPs will have infrastructure including roads, power, water, communications, drainage, sewerage, a sewage treatment plant and an effluent treatment plant, among others.
Specialized infrastructure consists of cold storage units, quarantine facilities, quality control labs, quality certification centers, raw material storage and central processing centers, among other specialized infrastructure.
As each IAIP is served by a network of rural transformation centers (RTC) which provide linkages to producers, the Premier has also visited the center being built in Shashemene to support the park.
The centers are aimed to serve as raw material aggregation points in the catchment areas (100 km radius) of each IAIP.
They include warehouses, input supply, sorting, grading, extension services, pre-processing activities and microfinance
The RTC in Shashemen, in which its construction has reached 60 percent, is expected to supply fruits and vegetables, wheat, barley, haricot bean, fava bean, tomato, potato, dairy, fish, poultry, honey and meat to the park.
Prime Minister Dr Abiy said that the government will expand the best practice gained in the Integrated Agro Industrial Park being built in Bulbula and the rural transformation center in Shashemene to other areas.
Ethiopia has planned to develop a total of 17 IAIPs across the country to accelerate rural transformation thereby realize agricultural transformation.