Patiala: Coming as a good news for the farmers of Punjab, Ethiopia has offered them a lucrative opportunity to practice farming in the African country. Ethiopian ambassador and Deputy Head of Mission Deerje Aswa informed about the invitation at the Fun Ville here.

The ambassador told the media, "Ethiopia had signed a MoU with Dr Joginder Tiger of Punjab in August last year in which the government of Ethiopia had accepted his report regarding agro-tech farming on a developed one acre piece of land. This would include farming of pulses, fruits, vegetables, poultry, piggery and dairy."

Deeje Aswa said, “33 hectares of land in Ethiopia is waiting for agriculture. I am in awe of the hard work put up by the farmers of Punjab and would like them to contact our embassy for the purpose.”

According to Aswa, water is found at 18 feet in Ethiopia which along with year-long rainfall season and temperature ranging from 20 degree Celsius to 32 degree Celsius provides a good environment for agriculture. Besides, the Ethiopian government is providing one hectare of land on lease for 60 years at just eight dollars. Moreover, only 30 percent cost of the project is to be borne by self while 70 percent finances are arranged.

Facilities for farming

Aswa said, “Cheap labour is available in our country at less than a dollar per day. Not only this, there is no tax for up to ten years on the income and the farming equipments are free from any excise duty. Also, any person is free to take his earnings to his home nation.”

He added, about 500 countries from India are working in Ethiopia while more than 600 professors are teaching in 22 universities.

Meanwhile, Dr Tiger said, "I have observed the land near a major river. Their government is even ready to build a road to that land with help of a bridge. Farming can be done on one lakh acre of land in first phase and 1.25 lakh acre of land in second phase which will provide employment to 40,000 people."