MoA, regional agriculture bureau collaborate in Tigray farmlands

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Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) announces 70 percent of the farmers in Tigray have started their farming for the coming major crop season.
Sani Redi, State Minister of MoA, said that latest information indicates that farmers in the Tigray region are in activity to cover long-season crops like sorghum and maize in the coming rainy season, which is the major harvesting period not only in the region but for the country.
“The Tigray grain crop production has mainly commenced in Meher and on average we expect to cultivate 950,000 hectares,” he said.
He added that agricultural development experts have started providing farm-to-farm extension services in 46 rural woredas.
He says based on the preparation for the coming agriculture season 1.8 billion birr is allocated to purchase and transport 800,000 quintals of fertilizer, out of which 322,864 quintal NPS and Urea are transported from port of Djibouti to Mekele central warehouse. “In addition to 214,864 quintals of fertilizer a total of 537,728 (67%) quintal fertilizer has already been made available in central warehouse and 210,795 quintals transported to 27 Woreda and also 91,000 quintal fertilizer distributed to farmers,” the state minister explained.
Regarding improved seed supply, the state minister said that 335 million birr is allocated to purchase and transport 120,000 quintal of seed. Of which 97,246.5 quintals have already been purchased with 66,387.5 quintals and 44,656 quintals being transported to Mekele and Woredas respectively, while 26,000 quintal seed being distributed to farmers.
Similarly, agro chemicals are also under distribution and or will be distributed in some parts as per the schedule.
Mekelle University and Agricultural Transformation Agency are working together to provide tractors to plough land of farmers who have been looted of their oxen.
In addition to that, the interim government of the region has allocated 24 million birr to purchase tractors to give ploughing services through cooperatives.
“As the livestock resource has a great impact on the livelihood of the farmers, the government and partners have allocated 71.9 million birr for livestock restocking and over 11.1 million birr to purchase and supply of 6,660 quintal of fodder seed. Of which, 23,058 quintal is purchased and 180.5 quintal is distributed,” Sani added.
He said that for its very special situation in Tigray, this Meher cropping season plan was prepared jointly with MoA and Regional agriculture bureau. From the 70 percent of 950,000 hectares of land is expected to be cultivated which will result in 1.4 million metric ton of production of mainly sorghum, teff, sesame, wheat, finger millet, barely, and maize will be harvested. “If the peace and restoration become promising in all woredas of Tigray, the Meher performance will be in better of that of 70 percent,” the state minister added.
According to Sani, the food gap in Tigray is expected to be filled by the coordinated action of the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) which already supporting 1.1 million beneficiaries in 55 woredas and can increase its number of beneficiaries through scalable PSNP and humanitarian food support.
Furthermore, the supply from the national market and the neighboring Amhara region which produces a marketable surplus can create a positive impact on grain market supply as long as the peace is maintained.