The sugar development sector is another priority area of the GTP so as to meet the increasing demand for sugar in the local and international markets. In this regard, the country had shown notable progress in expanding two existing sugar factories for the last three years of the GTP. Planned areas of specific development include doubling the current 300,000 tonnes output of sugar production, adding another ten factories to the three currently operating, completing Tendaho Sugar Factory and Arjo-Dedesa Sugar Development Project, creating job opportunities for 200, 000 citizens, exporting 623, 000 tonnes of raw sugar and 623,, 00 tons of white sugar as well as increasing the current 14, 519 m3 annual average produce of ethanol to 181, 604 m3. By the end of the GTP overall production will reach 2,250,000 tonnes and be able to supply 2.5% of the world sugar market as well as satisfy local demand. The ongoing construction of ten new sugar factories is underway. Cement production will be increasing to 27 million tonnes with 34 new factories being built during the five year plan and three others extended. Production of cement rose from 5 million tones in 2011 to 10.62 in 2012. A fertilizer factory is to be built to provide for the expected increase fertilizer usage (running at 550,000 tonnes a year in 2010). Another important sector for development is the textile sector where earnings rose from $23m in 2009/2010 to $62 million in 2010/2011, and the sector has already attracted a number of international firms and investors. Other elements include an increase in mobile phone subscribers from 4.0 million to over 6 million and raising the number of fixed line subscribers from less than a million to over 8 million.
Agriculture now accounts for less than fifty percent of GDP, though some 80% of the population still gains its livelihood, directly or indirectly, from agricultural production. Coffee exports account for little under half of foreign exchange earnings. Ethiopia, the original home of coffee, is the biggest producer in Africa and in 2010/11 the third largest producer in the world after Brazil and Vietnam when exports of 196,118 tonnes brought in US$2.8 billion It has the well-deserved reputation of producing the world's finest coffees, notably those marketed under the speciality labels of Hara, Sidamo, Yirgacheffe and others. Processed and semi-processed hides and skins are the second most important foreign exchange earners, though gold earned more in 2010/2011. Ethiopia is the 10th largest livestock producer in the world and now exports finished leather products as well as semi-processed hides and skins. Other major exports include oilseeds and pulses, natural gums, khat, cut flowers and vegetables, cotton, gold and, of course, coffee.
Hydro-electric power production is anticipated to increase to over 10,000 MWs by 2015. Now Ethiopia is determined raising the present 2178 MWs of electricity to 10, 000 MWs from geothermal, biogas, hydropower, solar and wind energy. Gilgel Gibe II (420 MW) and Takezze (300 MW) and Tana Beles (460 MW) have started generating power. Gilgel Gibe III, now under completion phase, is expected to start holding water in April 2014 and start test power generation in September 2014 as well as provide another 1870 MW. The largest development is that of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Abay River, the Blue Nile, which is going to generate 6, 000 MW and expected to generate a significant amount of foreign currency when completed in 2017, and will create a reservoir double the volume of Lake Tana. This will have the capacity to provide power for both the Sudan and Egypt as well as regulate floods and offer substantial irrigation potential. It will be a monumental feat of engineering, the largest infrastructural project ever undertaken in Ethiopia. In the meantime, feasibility studies have been launched for three other projects in the Abay (Blue Nile) basin – Mendaia (200MW), Beko Abo (2100MW), and Karo Dodi (1600MW). Other feasibility studies are being carried out for projects on the Takezze River and on the Dedessa River to produce 450MW and 301MW respectively. Ethiopia is cooperating with the US based company to the expand power, including the construction of the geothermal power development, which is expected to raise 1,000 MW when completed.
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