Yirgalem Agro-Industrial Park Spurs Local Economy and Boosts Ethiopia’s Exports

YIRGALEM, Ethiopia – The Yirgalem Integrated Agro-Industrial Park, situated in Ethiopia’s Sidama Region, is reportedly making significant strides in benefiting the local community and bolstering the national economy.

According to Ethiopian News Agency, Hailu Yetera, over 16,000 local citizens have engaged in the supply chain, thanks to the park’s focus on organic dairy, avocado, and coffee processing for both export and import substitution purposes.

The park, which spans 294.5 hectares, has been instrumental in supporting young people in the area by helping them prepare seedlings, including avocado, to supply local farmers. Hailu highlighted that the park is committed to enhancing the surrounding community’s livelihood through various development projects, such as honey production, educational facilities, healthcare services, and the provision of potable water.

Since its inauguration three years ago, the Yirgalem Integrated Agro-Industrial Park has generated 15.5 million USD from exporting edible oil derived from avocado pulp. Additionally, the park has contributed to saving approximately 14 million USD by adding value to milk and other agricultural products for the domestic market. These efforts are part of Ethiopia’s broader initiative to develop Integrated Agro-Industrial Parks to foster rural transformation and agricultural advancement.

The establishment of three Rural Transformation Centers (RTCs) within a 100-kilometer radius of the park—at Bensa Daye, Aletawondo, and Morocho—further underscores this initiative. These RTCs not only support inclusive rural development but also provide essential linkages between local farmers and the Yirgalem Park, facilitating their entry into commercial agricultural value chains.