Africa-Press – Ethiopia. May 29/2021(ENA) Ministry of Agriculture revealed that it has been exerting the utmost efforts to enhance farming activities in Tigray region by distributing 920,000 quintals of fertilizer and seeds to be used for upcoming rainy season.
State Minister of Agriculture, Sani Redi told ENA that works are underway to distribute about 800,000 quintals of soil fertilizer and 120,000 quintals of seed to the region with a view to help the farmers return to normal life by engaging them in farming activities in the coming rainy season.
The state minister said the preparation to enhance farming activity in the region is part of the ongoing efforts being carried out by the federal government to rehabilitate and reconstruct Tigray in collaboration with pertinent stakeholders including the regional interim administration and National Disaster Risk Management Commission.
Sani stated that out of the 800,000 quintals of fertilizer planned to be distributed to the region, currently; more than half has so far been transported to Mekele Central Warehouse and being distributed to the farmers.
According to him, so far, some 102,267 quintals of fertilizer has been distributed to 23 districts located in the region and more than 23,285 quintal is being distributed to farmers via 10 farmers’ cooperatives operating in the region.
“Of the 800,000 quintals of soil fertilizer, a total of 475,402 quintal, including the fertilizer left from last year, arrived at Mekelle central warehouse and the regional administration has been distributing it from the central warehouse to districts, and then to the farmers. So far, 102,267 quintal has been transported to 23 districts and some 23,285 has been distributed to farmers via 10 farmers’ cooperatives,” he pointed out.
The ministry has also been working to provide 120, 000 quintals of seed to farmers in the region by mobilizing supports from other stakeholders and buying in cash from trade unions of other regional states, he added.
According to Sani, close to 42, 000 quintals of seed has so far been provided to the region of which 8,970 quintal has been transported to 11 districts of the region to be distributed to the farmers.
In order to attain the provision of the expected seed to be provided to the region, the ministry has made agreements with 9 trade unions of Tigray region and has also created linkages with seed supplying enterprises in Oromia, Amhara and SNNP regions.
“Agreement has been made with 9 trade unions based in Tigray to provide 19,859 quintal emergency seed. We have also made linkages with enterprises that supply seed in SNNP, Oromia and Amhara regions to get sufficient adequate amount of seed,” he pointed out.
Over 900 million birr is required to buy seed, chemicals, rehabilitate agriculture offices, provide training and to run other agricultural related activities in the region, he said, adding that the ministry has been working on mobilizing resources and so far over 500 million birr has been collected.
The state minister also revealed that around 70 percent of the 950,000 hectares of farmland being developed by small scale farmers every year in Tigray, has now been prepared for the upcoming rainy crop season.
“Preparation of farmland has been underway for Kiremt crops season in 61 districts across the region. It is reported 70 percent of farmland in these districts has so far been ploughed by small scale farmers so far.”
The ongoing efforts to rehabilitate the farmers will be enhanced by providing them with livestock and animal fodder in a bid to help them run their normal agricultural activities, he noted.