Of all major accomplishments the industrious Eritrean people scored in the national development drive, the determination to rolling up sleeves against the culture of dependency and to build internal capacity all on its own is rated at the forefront. The task undertaken thus far through such patriotic zeal now stands witness in every corner of Eritrea. Agriculture is one of the sectors in which the people and Government of Eritrea have registered quantum leap. It is to be noted that Eritrea has all the more so been ridding itself of the aid-dependent nations index and the gross national product has been expanding on a yearly basis, thanks to the impressive achievements that have been realized by the people and Government in the agricultural sector. In line with the headway made so far, a bumper season for agricultural yields is expected to be harvested this year.
Needless to say, Mother Nature has played a significant role in reinvigorating the country’s cumulative endeavors towards success. In order for the nation to ensure sustainable development and mitigate erratic rainy season, however, it needs to put in place green revolution facilities in the foreseeable future. Much remains no doubt to be done to meet the stated benchmark. Accordingly, the putting in place of agricultural infrastructures as well as soil and water conservation activities that have been carried out throughout Eritrea ought to expand and gain momentum. Besides, the task of modernizing irrigation system, mechanization of the labor-intensive traditional farming, boosting agro-industrial output by means of strategic crops and animal husbandry, applying select seeds and appropriate composts to enhance soil fertility, constructing water harvesting structures, as well as streamlining national reserve and processing and marketability of agricultural yields deserve due attention.
Unless compounded by a culture responsive to civilization, securing bumper harvest alone does not constitute a success story. Where any given nation fails to guaranteeing domestic products in lieu of imports, seasonal harvest is but next to nothing in the national economic growth. At a discussion he held last week with community representatives from the Southern Region, President Isaias Afwerki noted the need for prudent consumption of this year’s harvest, in addition to the reinforcement of popular undertakings aimed at soil and water conservation.
On top of cereal crops, efforts should be exerted to ensure nutrient-rich food security with continuously growing domestic production of fruits and vegetables, fisheries and animal husbandry; as well as establish agro-industrial plants that process agricultural yields. Once the goal of national food reserve is attained, the expenditure intended for importation of cereal crops and other foodstuffs could reverse course towards speeding up the progress of development programs. Bumper harvest thus need not be something in which we take great delight, but rather, it must heighten the zeal for popular undertakings.