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The small rainy season and its impact on the Eritrean farmers

According to the Eritrean calendar, the rainy season is divided into small and big rainy season. The small rainy season is from April to May. During this time there is the occurrence of small amount of rain, mainly rain showers. that motivate farmers to prepare their land for cultivation during the big rainy season and planting some crops. The crops that are planted this time of the rainy season include maize, sorghum and other types of crops that need early rain so that they sustain the month of June until the big rainy season begins.
The other important aspect of the small rainy season is that most of the micro-dams and water catchment schemes that hold small amount of water are likely to dry during the long months of summer, and with the coming of the rain they hold some water enough for people and animals. The land also grows grass and animals are redeemed from hunger and from going far land to find grass for survival.

Almost 80% of the Eritrean people depend from farming for their livelihood. And as Eritrea comprises variety of climatic conditions planting time also varies. In most cases planting is determined by the availability of soil moisture. And since the small rainy season also creates condition for the soil to have moisture the early coming of rain is important for the farmers to prepare their land.

The land that got enough rain is simple for ploughing. The land that has been dry and hard during the hot summer gets enough water to soften and easy for farmers to plough.

Farmers have to plough their land at least three times before the big rainy season. The first stage is to soften the land and the second stage to make sure the land is ready for cultivation while the third stage is for cultivation. That means farmers in Eritrea toil more than any other citizen to meet their needs.

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