ADDIS ABABA- Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries (MoLF) said that it has been working to transform the lives of pastoralist and semi-pastoralist people particularly in drought prone areas of Oromia, Somali, Afar and South Nations Nationalities and People states over the past two quarters of this fiscal year.
Speaking to The Ethiopian Herald, MoLF State Minister Dr. Misrak Mekonnen said that drought prevention works have been done in relief beneficiary areas, and many pastoral societies have been supported to engage in animal husbandry and bee keeping activities.
In Afar state, 55,860 Kg of honey from 6,540 traditional beehives and 1,888 Kg of honey from 1,888 modern beehives have been collected only over the last six months, according to her.
Dr. Misrak stated that the Ministry helps farmers to boost their fish production and productivity. Hence, the current 520 tons production is expected to grow to 812.5 tons. "Around 200,000 fish species have been dispersed in major aquatic areas."
The Federal government has allocated 15 million Birr for pasture bank, for purchasing livestock and medicines, the state minister indicated.
The Ministry has distributed 21,714,300 dose vaccinations to pastoral and semi-pastoral societies in Oromia, Somali, SNNP and Afar states. Accordingly, 21 million livestock population was vaccinated, she said, adding: "in addition to this, fodder, beehive, milk processing and hybridization equipment have also been distributed to drought affected pastoralists."
Besides, the Ministry has provided technical, material and financial supports to combat the recurring droughts which broke out in various areas of the states, she noted.
To alleviate drought vulnerability in pastoral and semi-pastoral areas, the Ministry has planned to utilize surface and ground water resources; hence, to step up resilience enhancement mechanisms.
Meanwhile, Dr. Misrak said four quarantine centers are under construction in the stated places. "Up on completion, the pastoral and semi-pastoral communities' economic benefit will see improvements."
"The quarantine centers are nearing completion in Mile (Afar), Jigjiga (Somali), Humera (Tigray) and Metema (Amhara), she noted, adding: "the centers will start operation soon to play their parts in combating illegal trade and in promoting livestock export trade."
Pastoralists' Affairs Standing Committee Chairperson of House of Peoples' Representatives, Mohammed Yesuf for his part said that the preparedness and response activities being undertaken in the areas should be encouraged and scaled up.
"Ethiopia has shown strong resilience in tackling drought with own capacity. The Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries is working to improve the quality, produce and productivity of livestock in pastoral and semi-pastoral areas. This way, the nation will overcome drought in a sustainable manner," he noted.
He added that the stated period's performance had limitation in undertaking hybridization of camel and taken measures to combat rent-seeking tendencies, red-tape and other malpractices.