Nov. 28, 2011 (ASMARA) — Despite delays in seasonal rains, Eritrean farmers are reporting good harvest yields in much of the important farming regions of the country.
Reports show delayed seasonal rainfall, coupled with uneven rainfall distribution, have negatively affected agricultural yields in certain areas of the country.
Yet even with these setbacks, Eritrean farmers remain optimistic of an overall good harvest season, as Eritrea's breadbasket regions are reporting solid harvest outputs in November.
Previous studies conducted by the government revealed many Eritrean farmers lacked farming expertise and tended to use low quality seeds, a situation that predisposes them to lower yields. Compounding to this situation are climate changes that have made seasonal rainfall erratic and scarce in some parts of the country.
Taking these issues into consideration, the government has formulated a number of strategies over the years to ensure farmers have the ability to produce surplus harvests by modernizing Eritrea's farming methods, equipment and introducing drought-resistant crops in areas with scarce rainfall.
In a recent interview with state media, Agriculture Minister Atobrhan Yosief disclosed Eritrea's agriculture sector is focusing more on selected seeds that grow faster and are resistant to reoccurring droughts.
“We are now introducing a sorghum species known as ICSV 111 which has the characteristics of growing fast.” said Yosief. “Besides giving bumper harvest, this select seed resists weeds that could pose threat to the agricultural yield.” Yosief added.
Since 2009, the Red Sea State has completely weaned itself from the shackles of food aid and has registered consecutive bumper harvests, albeit under favorable precipitation.
It is to be recalled, in mid-October Eritrea's cabinet approved food aid to Somalia in response to the United Nations declaring many parts of southern Somalia as areas under severe famine.
|Eritrean Farmers collecting harvest|
|Farmland in Gash-Barka region of Eritrea|
|Eritrean Farmers discussing ways to improve output|
|Cattle farm in Anseba region|