Addis Ababa, January 11/2021( ENA) Ministry of Agriculture revealed that some 9.1 million hectares of land covered with various crops have been harvested during this harvesting season.
Speaking to ENA, Crop Development Director at the Ministry, Isayas Lema said the 9.1 million hectares of land so far harvested during the 2020/21 season was out of the total 13.4 million hectares of farmland covered with crops across the country.
“The plan was to cover 12.85 million hectares of land with crops through small holder farmers to reap 335 million quintal of various crops in the harvesting season. According to reports obtained from the regions, some 13.4 million hectares of farmland had already been covered with crops. So far the nation has been able to harvest 9.1 million hectares of farmland,” Isayas said.
The stated performance report didn’t include the harvesting activities being carried out in Tigray region due to lack of organized data, he said adding that “though some 1.3 million hectares of farmland covered with crops in the region is being harvested as per the crop calendar.”
However, harvesting activities in all of the regions have almost been finalized as per the crop calendar of the country, he said.
According to him the harvested farmland so far is more than 85 percent of the 13.4 million hectares of farmland.
Most of the crops harvested include cereals and grain, it was noted.
The remaining 10 to 15 percent of the farmland covered with crops during the season are mostly located in highland areas of the country that include Bale, Arsi, and Sidama, he pointed out.
Of the total 13.4 million hectares of land cultivated in this harvesting season, 3 million hectares had been developed in 300 districts with cluster farming system to enhance productivity of crops mainly wheat and other cash crops vital for export trade, the director pointed out.
Furthermore, he recalled that some 700,000 quintal of selected seeds and 12.8 million quintal of fertilizer had been distributed to farmers during the season.
Despite the agricultural activity of the country had encountered challenges like invasion of desert locust, COVID-19 pandemic and flooding during the season, their impact on the amount of production being harvested is insignificant due to the various measures taken to curb the problems, Issayas stated.
According to the director, about 500, 000 hectares of farmland in Ethiopia was invaded with locust swarm.
It was learned that 75 percent of Ethiopia’s annual agricultural production is harvested from summer season crops, while the rest 25 percent would also be collected from crops of the small rainy (Belg) season and irrigational scheme.