ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA – Construction of four pilot integrated agro-processing industrial parks (IAIPs) that cost $10 billion is expected to be completed within the next several months, according to a report from the Ethiopian News Agency.

The delay of the projects by six months was due to redesigning of the parks, Ayalneh Abawa, adviser for integrated agro-processing parks in the ministry, told the news agency.

 “The study for the parks took two years and the construction was expected to be completed at the end of December 2018,” he said.

He added that “electric power is the challenge at present as budget was not allocated. Shortage of foreign currency inhibited the construction of substations.”

The pilot agro-processing parks are Baeker for sesame, sorghum and livestock; Bulbula for cereal and milk; Bure for cereals, pulses and spices, and Yirgalem for coffee, fruit and vegetables, according to the Ethiopian News Agency.

It noted that 80 to 100 investors, most of which are local, are expected to engage in each park.

The purpose of IAIPs is to attract the private sector to set up food processing plants in bumper producing areas by adding value to agricultural products, linking farmers to processing plants and creating wealth for them as well as reducing post-harvest loss and accelerating rural economic growth in Ethiopia.