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Ethiopian Soil Resource Institute Establishment Council of Ministers Regulation No. 418-2017

Council of Ministers Regulations No. 418/2017


WHEREAS, it is found necessary to ensure healthy and fertile soil for enhancing agricultural production and productivity in a rapid and sustainable manner, for ensuring food security at household level, playing a key role in combating the negative impact of climate change and in building green economy;

WHEREAS, it is found necessary to establish state-of-the-art information system with updated and detailed soil resource, fertility and landscape information for ensuring fertile and healthy soil in a sustainable manner;

WHEREAS, it is found necessary to ensure that soil information to be generated by various private and governmental organization in harmonized manner and of high quality;

WHEREAS, it is found necessary to build strong national capacity to organize soil resource, fertility and landscape information with analysis and mapping capacity with required international standards;

WHEREAS, it is found necessary to make soil fertility improvement and soil management recommendations available and accessible to farmers, pastoralists, and other users using state-of-the-art geospatial technologies based on soil testing result at parcel level, crop requirement, and ecological zones;

WHEREAS, it is found necessary to establish strong institution to ensure accomplishment of soil related agriculture and rural development policies, strategies, procedures and related  legal frameworks effectively;

NOW, THEREFORE, this Regulation is issued by the Council of Ministers pursuant to Articles 5 and 38 of the Definition of Power and Duties of the Executive Organs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Proclamation No. 916/2015(as amended by Proclamation No.942/2016)

  1. Short Title

This Regulation may be cited as the “Ethiopian Soil Resource Institute Establishment Council of Ministers Regulation No.  418 /2017”.

In this Regulation:

1/  “soil” means the unconsolidated mixture of mineral, organic matter, gases, liquid, and countless organisms on the immediate surface of the earth used to support plant growth;

2/  “soil fertility” means the status of soil having optimum nutrients and other inputs (water, air, organisms, and balanced chemical content) to sustain plant growth and productivity;

3/  “soil resource” means a natural resource and often characterized by amounts of materials existent in various soil types;

4/  “soil data” means soil resource/fertility data either raw or processed that is directly collected from field, obtained from secondary sources or generated from satellite imagery;

5/  “soil survey” means a systematic study of the soil of an area including classification and mapping of the properties and the distribution of various soil units;

6/  “soil test” means activity done to estimate the available concentrations of essential plant nutrients, in order to determine fertilizer recommendations;

7/  “soil map” means a map prepared by integrating data from various sources (field, satellite imagery, legacy data); and showing the distribution of soil types, soil fertility status and fertilizer requirement of an area;

8/  “information” means a resource generated from any raw data obtained in the form of text, audio, visual, map or orchestrated in any form;

9/  “geospatial technology” means technologies used to collect, visualize, measure, analyze and interpret earth’s features;

10/ “fertilizer” means any organic or inorganic material of natural or synthetic origin that is added to a soil to supply plant nutrients essential for plant growth;

11/ “landscape” means the natural features that distinguish one part of the earth’s surface from another; and is the portion of land or territory visible in a single view, including all its natural characteristics;

12/ “ecosystem” means a natural system in which living and non-living things are found interacting with each other in a dynamic process;

13/ “environment” and “pollution” shall have the meanings assigned to them under Article 2(6) and (12) of the Environmental Pollution Control Proclamation No. 300/2002, respectively;

14/ “Region” means any state referred to under Article 47(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and includes Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa city administration;

15/ “Ministry” means the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resource;

16/ “person” means any a natural or juridical person;

17/ any expression in the masculine gender includes the feminine.

1/  There is established the Ethiopian Soil Resource Institute (in this Regulation referred to as the “Institute”) as an autonomous federal government office having its own legal responsibility.

2/  The Institute shall be accountable to the Ministry.

The Institute shall have its head office in Addis Ababa and may have branch offices elsewhere, as may be necessary.

The Institute shall have the following main objectives:

1/  establish modern and world class soil information system and build national capacity in the field so as to improve soil health and fertility;

2/  provide updated soil resource and landscape information, soil fertility status and fertilizer recommendation maps/atlases to clients with the required quality and quantity on time using various communication methods;

3/  build up capacity of soil testing centers and achieve international accreditation;

4/  ensure the proper implementation of policies, strategies, laws, directives and manuals to implement soil related activities and agreements, upon approval;

5/  strengthen the synergy and strategic partnership with national and international organizations working for the same purpose.

The Institute shall have the following powers and duties:

1/  coordinates, leads and monitors national soil resource and fertility information generation, analysis, interpretation, dissemination and storage activities, in order to establish a functional soil resource information system;

2/  by coordinating federal and regional institution establish a uniform soil information system assisted by technology; create a sustainable exchange of standardized information among the institutions, and thereby serve as a center of soil database; and disseminate information to users;

3/  periodically conduct soil fertility survey, analyzes the samples, interpret the data and prepare soil test based fertilizer recommendation, verify the result and disseminates to relevant stakeholders;

4/  document best practices and geo-information technologies from countries that have a well-organized soil information system and adapt them to local conditions and disseminates to local users;

5/  builds the capacity of Federal and Regional soil testing laboratories so as to discharge their functions by maintain competitive international standard and monitors the output quality through sample exchange program and timely inspection;

6/  build up mobile soil testing technological capacity in order to provide expedient soil test based fertilizer utilization and soil management advisory service to farmers/pastoralists at parcel level;

7/  conduct soil classification and mapping of the country at various scale;

8/  conduct soil survey and characterization activities for priority development areas, monitor and validate such activities performed by other stakeholders to maintain their standards;

9/  conduct crop yield mapping using modern digital technologies;

10/ conduct cursory survey on degraded and rehabilitated soils in collaboration with concerned stakeholders;

11/ evaluate the long term impact of fertilizers on soils and the environment, and inform the results to the concerned bodies;

12/ upon request, provide soil survey, analysis, and interpretation services to clients with reasonable service fee determined by Government;

13/ act as a center of excellence in the continent, provide tailored training, advisory services and soil analysis to clients, including from countries in Africa;

14/ regularly monitor the health and status of agricultural investment lands and inform the results to relevant stakeholders;

15/ facilitate condition for mutual support between federal and regional agricultural educations, research, extension and development institutions;

16/ create national and international cooperation and strategic partnership in relation to its mission;

17/ formulate or initiate and coordinate the formulation of policies, strategies, laws, directives and manuals to implement soil related agreements; and upon approval, ensure their implementation;

18/ own property, enter into contracts, sue and be sued in its own name;

19/ perform such other activities conducive to the fulfillment of its objectives.

The Institute shall have:

1/  a Soil Resource Advisory Board (in this Regulation  referred to as “Board”)

2/  a Director General and as may be necessary, Deputy Director Generals to be appointed by the Government; and

3/  the necessary staff.

The Chairperson and members of the Board shall be appointed by the Government and their number shall be determined as appropriate.

The Board shall:

1/  deliberate and forward recommendation on soil resource and fertility related proposals, programs and projects and other issues that contribute towards achieving the objective of the Institute.

2/  cause issuance of certificate of competence to Institute by other independent body;

3/  establish a technical advisory committee; designate members of the committee and receive technical evaluation reports from the committee.

10. Meeting of the Board

1/  The Board shall meet once in three months and may have extraordinary meetings as may be necessary.

2/  There shall be quorum when more than half of the members are present at a meeting. 

3/  The decision of the Board shall be made by a majority vote; in case of a tie, the chairperson shall have a casting vote.

4/  Without prejudice to the provisions of this Article, the Board may adopt its own rules of procedure.

  1. Powers and Duties of the Director General

1/  The Director General shall be the chief executive officer of the Institute and shall subject to the general direction of the Ministry, direct and administer the activities of the Institute.

2/  Without limiting the generality of sub-article (1) of this Article, the Director General shall:

a)  exercise the power and duties of the Institute specified under Article 6 of this Regulation;

b)  employ and administer employees engaged in support services of the Institute in accordance with the federal civil service laws and, in the case of professionals engaged in the core functions of the Institute, in accordance with directives approved by the Government following the basic principles of the federal civil service laws;

c)   prepare and submit work program and budget of the Institute to the Ministry and implement the same upon approval by the Government;

d)  effect payments in accordance with approved budget and work program of the Institute;

e)   represent the Institute in dealing with third parties;

f)   prepare and submit to the Ministry the performance and financial reports of the Institute.    

3/  The Director General may delegate part of his powers and duties to other officials and employees of the Institute to the extent necessary for the efficient performance of the activities of the Institute.

12.Powers and Duties of the Deputy Director Generals

The Deputy Director Generals shall:

1/  assist the Director General in planning, organizing, leading and coordinating the activities of the Institute;

2/  execute other duties specifically assigned by the Director General;

3/  represent the Director General in his absence, when specifically delegated by the Director General.

13. Budget

The Institute’s budget shall be allocated by the Government.

14. Books of Account

1/  The Institute shall keep complete and accurate book of accounts.

2/  The book of account and financial documents of the Institute shall be audited annually by the Auditor General or an auditor designated by him.

15. Transfer of Rights and Obligation

The rights and duties transferred to the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Organization under Article 17 of the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Organization Establishment Proclamation No. 79/1997(as amended by Proclamation No 382/2004) with respect to National Soil Testing Center are transferred to the Institute.

16. Effective Date 

This Regulation shall enter into force on the date of its publication in the Federal Negarit Gazette.

Done at Addis Ababa, this 24th day of November, 2017.




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