Sustaining communities under the umbrella of self-driven agriculture and following a contented lifestyle is what the government and the society choose as a stepping stone to overall growth. Taking a vacation around the western region of the country would leave a stranger’s mouth open and be a surprise to witness the enormous commitment of the government in availability of ensuring food and nutrition to its people.
As a continuation of the previous articles published and as part of the National Crop and Livestock Corporation (NCLC) agricultural campaigns, today’s edition will look at Adi Omer farm and its agricultural developments. The town is a few kilometers distance from the city of Tessenei. I hardly knew the town yet I had heard of it since I was a child. According to my instincts, it was a farm place for tomatoes and I vaguely recall its fruit production sales in a store near my house. My instincts were confirmed later.
The production of Adi Omer farm is continuously flowing to the market and regulating prices. The farm cultivation is performed by the community around as there is a good working atmosphere within the community. To cultivate the farmland around 150 farmers are engaged daily along with the participation of women in agriculture overcoming cultural beliefs and showing promising progress. As women are becoming active participants in all national development activities throughout the country, they are pressing the old cultural taboos under their sleeves. These women are seen to being correctly abided by the rules and regulations of the administration that govern them, work ethic is properly followed and respected.
Mr. Amine Tesfamicael, manager of the farm in Adi Omer, said that the farmland activities are divided into five blocks being engaged in their own tasks having their own manpower. Divisions such as horticulture, pesticide and controlling, and technical division which deal with machines and tractors, administration as well as animal husbandry division whose mandate is to prepare animal food and examine animals against diseases are in place. Animal food such as Alfa Alfa, millet Colombo (a kind of sorghum) and other sorts and weeds from the farm are the main animal food prepared.
The Tessenei farm is supervised under the Adi Omer farm. As of the moment, about 280 hectares of sorghum has been planted and fully approved and congruence with its agricultural infrastructure. The Adi Omer farm conducts its administration operations with the help of 80 newly graduated personnel from the Halhale College of Business. In line with the farmers, personnel directly assigned to the farms from the Hamelmalo College of Agriculture also immensely assists the farmers with the scientific cultivation of crops with drip irrigation.
Livestock breeding is another agricultural activity the administration in Adi Omer is highly engaged in. Around 3000 sheep and 250 cattle are reared which can eat any sort of vegetables. Small-scale milk production is delivered to the nearby towns such as Alebu and others at lower prices. Some of the livestock under the farm are provided for farmers who can rear them in their own ways.
The orange farm of Adi Omer has been cultivated for five years by diverting rivers; yet, after evaluating its high demand of water consumption, a new method of cultivating through drip irrigation was introduced in 2006. To enrich the land, natural fertilizer is continuously applied; the removal of ant hill from inside the farm and application of pesticides have been the main activities of farmers to prevent crop yield degradation.
Soil and water conservation is what the administration always fights for. To prevent soil erosion caused by large rivers flowing from the north to the south and directly to the farm area, farmers have managed to divert tributaries and use them efficiently for other purposes. According to Mr. Amine, this has a huge impact in boosting production of the farm since in some rainy seasons all of the rain water rests in the farm.
The productions of the large-scale farms in the country are meaningfully regulating the markets of main towns. Therefore, since the supply chains are minimized and the productions are reaching the hands of the customers with minimal intervention from middle men, prices tend to be lower these days.
Statistically seen, lands being cultivated under the strategic dams are registering promising figures and the reality is being witnessed at the shelves of markets. Meanwhile, understanding the significance of these farms to the country’s economy, the government is fully committing itself to satisfying the demands of its people year after year. Since the land and its productions solely belong to the people, farmers are seen working with devotion in these farms and they look for personal and community developments to enhance their lifestyles.