Africa-Press – Ethiopia. June 8/2021(ENA) Tigray Regional State Agricultural Bureau said farmers have been undertaking agricultural activities in the five zones of the region despite some challenges related to the conflict.
Speaking to ENA, the Interim Administration Deputy Head of Tigray Agricultural Bureau, Birhane Areaya, said that farming activities have been carried out across the region.
Birhane underlined that agricultural livelihood is one of the sector that has been affected by the law enforcement operation against the belligerent TPLF group in the region.
According to him, as the main agricultural production and rainy season is approaching, the administration jointly with the federal government has been intensifying efforts to distribute seeds and fertilizers vital for the conduct of farming activities in the region.
’Farming activities during the upcoming rainy season is very critical in order to help the farmer become self-sufficient at least during the next year. The government and pertinent actors are distributing inputs. The farmers are also requesting the inputs that indicate the farmers have already begun farming activities in their respective areas,” he elaborated
As we have confirmed through our agricultural experts, farming is underway in all most parts of region, except some hotspot districts with security challenges.
Birhane pointed 300,000 quintals of fertilizers has been transported to the regional state so far, of which 210,000 quintals has been delivered to the farmers.
“This year’s plan is to import 800,000 quintals of fertilizer from the port of Djibouti to the Tigray region. Out of this, we have been able to import about 300,000 quintals. Accordingly, we have so far distributed 210,000 quintals to the woredas. We are also working on how the rest of the fertilizer will reach to the farmers in the near future.”
He further stated that the agricultural bureau has been distributing 66,000 quintals of seed to more than 10 districts of the Regional State.
ENA reporter has witnessed the stock of the seeds and fertilizers in the warehouses located in the outskirts of Mekele the regional capital as well as its distribution activities to the Wereda agricultural unions.
Given the region’s current demand for improved seed inputs and the overall impact of agricultural production during the conflict, supply has been still low, the head noted.
“So far, only 10,000 quintals of improved seeds are being distributed in different woredas. However, there is a serious shortage in this regard as we have asked more than 400,000 quintals seed. Nevertheless, we are grateful for the contribution of the federal government and other partners,” Birhane stated.
Though, farming is underway in most parts of the region, there places where farmers are prohibited from their activities by the members of the Fugitive TPLF members he said adding that the government has also been engaged in ensuring the peace and security of the farmers in this regard.
“As we have confirmed through our agricultural experts, farming is underway in all most parts of region, except some hotspot districts with security challenges. Different obstacles are being made by some anti-peace elements on the farmers not to engage in farming. These elements are also damaging agricultural materials of the farmer. Particularly farmers in Samra, Mijata, Adwa are facing such challenges and the government is working with security institutions to prevent obstacles and enhance farming activities.”
Nothing that Tigray has close to one million of farmer households, the deputy head said continued and enhanced interventions are important to mobilize more resources to enable the farmers resume agricultural activities.
He specifically called on donors and development partners to extend their support focusing on agricultural activities in addition to their ongoing contribution in the provision temporary assistance.
In order to safeguard the agricultural livelihoods of communities affected by conflict in the Tigray region, it has been planned to develop 1.3 million hectares of land in this upcoming main agricultural production season, according to information obtained from the regional agriculture bureau.