Farmers anticipate better yield after drought
Farmers who were affected by the El-Nino induced drought in Agarfa district of Bale Zone in Oromia state said their situations have now improved with better farm yields expected this crop season.
The El-Nino weather phenomena led to the loss of crops in the district, affecting more than two thousand hectares of farm, according to officials of the zone.
Some farmers talked to ENA saying they expect better production this Meher season as they utilized government-provided farm packages including select seed for their farming activities.
“Last year the El Nino severely affected wheat production and thanks to God this year I expect better yield,” said Dejene Dabele, a farmer from Ali kebele of the district.
Aman Ahmed from the same district also said: “last year there was nothing. We harvested 6-10 quintals per hectare while the productivity jumped up to 40 quintals this season which is an indication of better productivity.”
The farmers received capacity enhancing trainings so that they can enjoy better output, achieving the target set at district level, according to the district's agriculture bureau.
Deputy Head of the bureau Jawar Jamal said the bureau has managed to organize some 900 farmers in clusters to produce inputs for macaroni and spaghetti.
Jawar said farmers also received trainings on post harvest handling and storage.
Input supply and increased utilization of improved agricultural technologies among the farmers is attributed to the improved productivity this crop season.
Bale Zone Disaster Risk Management Office Head Abraham Haile said nine of the 18 districts in the zone are lowlands which makes them vulnerable to such climatic conditions.
The pre-harvest assessment showed that crop production increased in highland areas while low land areas were subjected to the loss of 75 percent of their crops due to the drought situation in the districts.
This Meher season some 373 thousand hectares of land was covered by various crops from which the zone expects to harvest 10 million quintals.
Discussions are underway with relevant stakeholders including government institutions to ease market access and secure better prices for the harvests.