DuPont set to expand business in Ethiopia

By Hayal Alemayehu

– Farmers witness company’s products triples their production

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – With its selected seed products making change in the lives of farmers here, DuPont, the U.S.-based Fortune 100 company, is up to expand and diversify its business and products here.

“We are here to learn more what the Ethiopian farmers need best while our revenue both in Ethiopia and Africa is already growing,” DuPont Vice President Jim Borel told The Reporter during his first field visit in Ethiopia. “We have made important meeting with the Minister of Agriculture, Tefera Derbew, and are actually impressed with the government’s comprehensive five-year action plans on agriculture. We are in the process of expanding our seeds production and conditioning facilities for maize production”

The company is capitalizing on what has long become one of the world’s most pressing issues: food security, according to Borel.

“Food security is the defining issue of our time and, as such, the larger part of our focus in Ethiopia at the moment is agriculture and nutrition,” he said. “As the economy grows it is very possible we will be in manufacturing, but we have no plan today.”

DuPont is expanding selected seeds supplies and conditioning facilities for maize production, with farmers using the company’s product by witnessing that their harvest had tripled since they started sewing the seed products the company produce.

Of those farmers which witnessed exponential growth in harvest is Abebe Ayele, whose name and success was recently reported at the Wall Street Journal.

“Since I started using the selected seeds produced by the company, the yield I get over one hectare of land has tripled,” Debebe told The Reporter. “This has changed my life for the better.”

Yet, while Debebe is not the only one to tell that success story, he stands out among those farmers who make the best out of the company’s product, including Tarekegn Wakgira, who saw a boost in his harvest over the last several years.

“Before I started using DuPont selected seed products, the yield I harvested on one hectare of land was 2.5 to 3 tonnes of maize,” Tarekegn told The Reporter. “For the last ten years or so I am getting up to 8.4 tonnes.”

All over Ethiopia, there are presently over 320,000 farmers using the selected seeds produced by the company.

DuPont has in the meantime set three “defining” strategies ahead: innovating to feed the world by committing USD 10 billion to R & D globally and introducing 4,000 new products, engaging and educating youth and improving rural communities.

Source: Ethiopian Reporter