The Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) marked double international events; World Food Day and International Day for the Eradication of Poverty in Embaderho Town on October 16, 2019.
Mr. Arefaine Berhe, the Minister of Agriculture and keynote speaker of the events, outlined important facts about what Eritrea is doing to meet food and nutrition security as well as to eradicate hunger and poverty.
He mentioned the Minimum Integrated Household Agricultural Package (MIHAP) as a practical intervention to meet food and nutrition security at household level. He further noted that the Ministry came up with a new and viable Small and Medium Commercial Farmers Strategy (SMCFS) to upscale MIHAP beneficiaries and promote the already established commercial farmers.
Ms. Susan Ngongi, UN Resident Coordinator in Eritrea, on her part noted that 1.3 billion people in 101 countries are living under poverty line. She also explained that since over half of them are under 18 years of age, the issue needs paramount attention. Ms. Susan, at the end, underscored that persistent effort is being made to ensure food security as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Dr. Saeed A. Bancie, FAO Representative in Eritrea, on his part called on farmers to concentrate in producing quality products vis-a-vis the effort being made to eradicate poverty and ensure nutrition security.
Mr. Habteweld Misgina, an Artist and Environmental activist presented a live painting reflecting the events and inspired participants with his wonderful approach.
Exemplary farmers who displayed their products in the event were awarded certificates of participation.
It is to be noted that this year’s World Food Day was marked under the theme: “Our Actions are Our Future: Healthy Diets for a Zero Hunger World” and the International day for the Eradication of Poverty was globally observed under the theme: “Acting together to empower children, their families and communities to end poverty”.
The event was attended by senior Government and PFDJ officials, members of the Diplomatic Corps, Heads of UN Missions in Eritrea, religious leaders, experts, representatives of farmers and other invited guests.
In other related news from the Ministry, the Agricultural Extension Department of the Ministry of Agriculture conducted one-week training from 28th October to 1st November, 2019 to heads of plant protection in the Sub-zones of Northern Red sea region.
The training was officially opened by Mr. Tesfit Gebregziabhier, Head of Crop Development Division in the region. Mr. Tesfit, after underscoring the relevance of the training, stated that many parts of the region were initially infested with FAW. “However” he continued, “thanks to collaboration of the people, administration officials and the military, the threat of the dangerous pest was overcome”. He further urged participants of the training to continue their vigilance because the FAW threat can never be totally eliminated.
Mr. Tedros Sium, Head of Migratory Pests Control unit, on his part briefed the trainees on FAW situation starting from the preparations made prior to FAW appearance in Eritrea. He underscored the commitment of various government bodies in promoting awareness of the people about FAW and implementation of the desirable measures and decisions on time.
This year no significant FAW infestation has been reported yet. Reports from the 1500 pheromone traps distributed throughout the country indicate that the FAW incidences are dramatically decreasing below threshold level. The training focused on FAW background, FAW biology, scouting and monitoring, application of the FAMEWS (Fall Armyworm Monitoring and Early Warning System), GIS application on FAW actual and on-time reporting.
Moreover a presentation on collection and processing of good practices was delivered to the trainees. The presentation was aided by video shows to inspire the trainees and gain practical experience from Eritrean farmers who are using natural ways of controlling pests.The trainers called the experts to find, observe and promote natural and environment friendly ways of FAW control. The trainees on their part urged the Ministry to continue FAW sensitization activities up to ground level for FAW is still a global threat.
The training included both theoretical and practical sessions; and was delivered by Mr. Tedros Sium, Migratory Pests Control Unit head; Mr. Ermias Solomon, Information and Communication Unit Head; Mr. Efriem Ogbazghi, FAW Master trainer and Plant Protection Expert in Gash-barka region; Ms. Selam Teclay, Migratory Pests Information officer; and Mr. Ogbaldet Negede, GIS Master trainer.
Ministry of Agriculture