Nature’s benevolence is revealed in Elabered sub-zone.
This area is known for its agro industrial activities. It is home to baobab, fig vista and other indigenous trees. Mango trees on the roadside make one wonder about the area’s boundless generosity. This sub-zone has optimum temperature conducive for a vast range of agricultural activities. Its climate is favorable for animal husbandry, poultry, bee farming and growing vegetables and fruits.
The Elabered sub-zone is also known for its irrigation-based farm activities carried out almost throughout the year. Utmost priority is given to water and soil conservation to enrich the sub-zone’s underground water resources.
Mr. Netsereab Mebrahtu, representative of the Ministry of Agriculture’s branch in Elabered sub-zone, said that major plant and animal health activities have been carried out in order to boost agricultural produce of the sub-zone.
Elabedred sub-zone is renowned for its commercial crops. For this reason, the Agriculture Ministry’s branch in the sub-zone is often engaged in ensuring animal and plant health. Creating conducive atmosphere to augment agro-industrial produce of the sub-zone has been the primary mandate of the Ministry of Agriculture in the sub-zone.
Soil and water conservation activities have mostly been carried out through popular campaigns. In collaboration with non-governmental organizations, the government engages in the construction of water reservoirs of different sizes such as dams, micro-dams and water diversion schemes. Farmers have also been playing major roles in soil and water conservation activities individually and in groups.
No doubt, greening campaign could be better achieved in this sub-zone. Taking into account the sub-zone’s climatic condition, forestation activities have been carried out at a community level. Schools and religious institutions have been at the forefront in the plantation of seedlings. Exemplary institutions and individuals have been awarded for their efforts in the greening campaign. Enclosures have been identified and various forestation activities have been carried out. The Plant and Wildlife Authority, Ministry of Agriculture, has been distributing seedlings and also providing assistance for the success of the greening campaign.
Mr. Netsereab said that as part of the ongoing reforestation activities, 25,000 seedlings have been planted in enclosures of Era-Tahtay administrative area. Preservation of indigenous vegetation is also part of the greening campaign. To that end the sub-zone has appointed supervisors in a bid to boost vegetation coverage and the number of wildlife.
Mr. Netsereab underlines that priority is given to indigenous vegetation such as olive trees, fig vista, baobab and other trees. Farmers are always encouraged to collect and bring seeds of indigenous trees and the Ministry gives farmers incentives based on the amount of seed they collect.
Farmers are further motivated to plant as many seedlings as possible in their premises. In order to nurture a feeling of ownership, the farmers are allowed to make use of the trees, by selling branches or making use of them for other personal needs. The Ministry has been offering technical assistance to the farmers on effective ways of nurturing trees and cutting branches.
The sub-zone is rich in livestock. The farmers in the sub-zone are aware of the importance of veterinary services. They have been close partners of the Ministry in all activities that have been carried out in boosting the number of livestock.
According to Mr. Netsereab, annual veterinary service has been given to all areas of the sub-zone. In May 2012 vaccination was given across the sub-zone.
As regards farming activities, Mr. Netsereab said that cash crops and cereals have been cultivated in the sub-zone. “This sub-zone is suitable for the production of almost all local crops,” he said.
Even though an uneven distribution of rain may affect the amount of agricultural produce, the Ministry of Agriculture usually makes necessary preparations through the introduction of drought-resistant seeds.
Hamelmalo Agricultural College has been providing select potato seeds to be planted by exemplary farmers as a pilot project. This year, a select and drought-resistant potato seed will be distributed in the semi-arid areas of the sub-zone. The college also provides drought- resistant sorghum seed to farmers and the yield has been remarkably encouraging.
Prevention of pests and worms has been a major activity throughout the year. The Ministry of Agriculture has been informing farmers about the threats of fall army worms and its prevention mechanism. Impressive achievement has been registered in this regard thanks to the active popular awareness. “The sub-zone has thus been spared of the threat of Fall Army Worm owing to the collective effort of the Ministry of Agriculture as well as that of the farmers,” Mr. Netsereab elaborated.
Utilization of compost as a fertilizer has been widely practiced in Era-Lalay. Farmers of the area are well aware of crop rotation as a best practice towards boosting agricultural yield. Besides nature’s benevolence, the collective effort of the framers is the reason for the successful implementation of agricultural activities in the sub-zone. Adhering to natural prevention mechanisms, the farmers in the area have been playing a role in the eradication of various threats that could have negatively affected the overall agricultural produce. Elabered, which is also known as “Eden” (paradise), is home to a number of indigenous vegetation and a bread basket of the Anseba region as well as the entire country.