30 August 2017

Ethiopia: Promising Rainy Season for Surplus Crops

As this year rainy season looks promising, the nation is expected to harvest surplus crops. According to Ministry of Agriculture and Resources, the rainy season runs as usual except some pocket areas of the country. It has also stated successfully supplied inputs based on soil fertility recommendations.

The Ministry provided about 1.3 million of metric tons of fertilizers apart from making available ample selected seeds. Ethiopia plans to collect over 500 million quintals of yield by the end of GTP II.

In a recent interview with the Ethiopian Herald, Agriculture and Natural Resources Ministry Crop Development Acting Director Esayas Lema said that in recent years crop production has shown a six percent growth. In 2008-2009EC harvesting season alone production had increased by over 20 million quintals of yield.

He further said that yield increment has been registered due to increased inputs utilization, continuous natural resource management among others agricultural activities . Yes utilizing various soil fertility nutrients enable to raise production and productivity in the country. Above all the government's right policies and strategies in the agriculture sector have been immensely contributing for the growth.

Production and productivity have been increasing due to high input utilization, farmers' capacity building , utilization of modem agricultural technologies among others. Although nation's crop production depends mainly on seasonal rainfall, production and productivity have been increased from time to time. They have been substantially - growing and assisting nation's industrialization journey.

Teff, wheat, maize, sorghum among other agriculture crops have been the main food source of Ethiopians, covering over half percent of the total cultivated land of the country, they have been also contributing a great share of agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

However, the frequent EI Nino and drought related consequences will have a negative impact on agricultural production and productivity increment. Aside from exerting concerted efforts on modernizing nation's agricultural production , the nation is working to achieve GTP II goals, the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources along with its stakeholders has been engaging in fighting with El Nino and drought related consequences.

In connection with implementing the country's GTP II plan, he said that although production and productivity had been lagged behind a little bit during 2007EC due to El-Nino consequences. The nation has shown yield increments according to its plan.

As part of GTP II, the country has planned to produce 345 million quintals of yield by 2009- 2010 fiscal year. "We have supplied enough amount of agricultural inputs, given necessary capacity building activities to the farmers and stakeholders ."

Moreover, various trainings on irrigation schemes installations and management have been offering. "We do annual natural resource conservation activities and perform belg season agricultural duties so as to register sustainable production and productivity growth .The government has implemented seasonal agricultural activities consecutively and accordingly. We are working hard to achieve nation's agriculture sector GTP II targets," Esayas said.

To overcome El Niño and related consequences, the Ministry has implemented various drought resistant strategies, specially underlining and expanding research conducts throughout the country's agro-ecologies to release drought resistant crop varieties. Previously, drought was occurred within ten years interval. But now it occurs even in two years intervals. But, although its magnitude differs, El Niño case symptom has been manifested this year.

Hence, to withstand El Niño and drought related impacts on agricultural production and productivity , the ministry has implemented various strategies. The first one is carrying out rigorous agro-ecology based research conducts, Thus, researches have been conducted aimed at releasing drought and related resistant crop varieties. Because,its one of El-Nino impacts prevention mechanism.

The second is producing early mature crop varieties. It is very use full to resist late and early rainfall . It has a great role to prevent yield increment.

The third strategy is providing latest and recurrent weather information to the farmers . If farmers cultivate and harvest according to the weather conditions, they will become more beneficiary and productive. The ministry follows the above three strategies so as to mitigate drought impacts and boost productivity . The ministry also offers agro -net information in cooperation with Metrology Agency every week besides, " We have offered various trainings on soil and water conservation and early mature crop varieties." He further said that natural conservation activities are not only enable farmers getting forest products but they also enable to keep soil fertility, increase ground water potential and decrease climate change occurrence frequency. Currently such activities have borne fruits successfully. Farmers enable to get water from nearby distances . Thus, when February approaches ,every farmer is readied to take part in natural conservation management activities.

However, the Ethiopian agriculture depends on rain ,the need to use alternative irrigation schemes has no option . Thus, ministry has stressed alternative irrigation schemes construction like scaling up ground water potentials and water harvesting methods to enable farmers using small scale irrigation schemes.

Large irrigation schemes demand huge investments that is why they are being constructed by the Ministry of Water , Irrigation and Electricity, he said.

According to International Food Policy Research Institute , Ethiopia encompasses a wide variety of agro-ecologies and peoples. Its agriculture sector, economy, and food security status is highly depends on rain . In fact, the per capita income has risen by over 50 percent, and crop yields and availability have also increased. Higher investments in roads and mobile phone technology have led to improved infrastructure and thereby greater access to markets, commodities, services, and information.

Science Daily on its "Impact of climate change on agriculture may be underestimated" title edition said that studies of how climate change might affect agriculture generally look only at crop yields -- the amount of product harvested from a given unit of land. But climate change may also influence how much land people choose to farm and the number of crops they plant each growing season.

A new study takes all of these variables into account, and suggests researchers may be underestimating the total effect of climate change on the world's food supply.

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