13 February 2018

Ethiopia: The Center Overcoming Soil Salinity

AMIBARA - Werer Agriculture Research Center is actively working to enhance farming and grazing land soil's in Afar state particularly in Amibara Wereda which has been endangered by salinity.

In his recent interview with The Ethiopia Herald Saline Soils and Drainage Researcher and National Coordinator Bethel Nekir said: " Resulting from salinity of the soil, the area used to grow less corps and fodders .Plus, the high degree of temperature and irrigation farming for over 40 years have been creating difficulties in the areas ."

He indicated that the center has identified two possible solutions in overcoming the aforementioned challenges like extracting the salt using various scientific mechanisms and conducting cultivation of salt tolerant forage grass and legume crop species.

The center's Salty Soils Improvement Program Researcher Ashenafi Werku for his part noted that: "The program was started ten years ago as a project focusing on providing technological solutions that can be practicable by small-scale farmers and semi pastoralists. In addition ,it gives particular attention on fodder as it is a special demand of the pastoralists in the area."

Bethel also indicated that on the top of this effort, another professional support is being given to the semi-pastoralist of the area in assisting them on the practice of watering.

Speaking of the solutions , he said : "First ,we have treating the sodic soil and we have identified three kinds of fodders that could be effectively growing, which have their own variety. These species of fodder also can help the soil to reduce the amount of salt."

Aside from soil and water research, Werer Agriculture Research Center is now conducting research on Cotton, Sesame, Peanut, Vegetables and Fruits and on another kinds of cereals.

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