As Ethiopia moves moves to become one of the world's top ten exporters of raw and refined sugar by 2023, the country is expanding its water infrastructure.

State-owned Ethiopian Sugar Corp. has awarded to Israel-based design-build firm Baran Group a $90-million to engineer and construct a 61-kilometer-long irrigation network over 19,000 acres of sugar cane.

Baran Group says the project includes design of water collection, pumping and storage facilities as well as electricity and operation systems for the network. The timetable calls for completion within 20 months.

Israel’s Bank Hapolaim is heading a consortium that is providing over $200 million to the company for the project, located about 1,000 kilometers west of Addis Ababa. 

The funds will be used to purchase equipment from Israel’s Netafim Ltd, a world leader in drip irrigation.