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Omhajer: Prospective Farm Area and Hub of Societal Harmony

Omhajer is among the biggest semi-urban centers of Golug sub-zone in the Gash-Barka region. It borders Ethiopia to the south and Sudan to the west and is mostly known for its agriculture. It has vast arable land and is endowed with abundant livestock. Its agricultural resources, cultural diversity and its potential for further development make Omhajer a prospective center for investment.

Omhajer has a population of 9000, who live on farming, growing plants and raising animals, and trading with people from the neighboring countries.

A total of 4,000 hectares have been cultivated by the inhabitants of the two administrative areas of Omhajer. Following the redistribution of farmland in 2017, every farmer in Omhajer has been given a farmland at a household and an individual level.

The Government has been cultivating a large farm area in Ketay, where commercial farmers can also lease farm land from the government. Bademit Dam, the largest water reservoir in Omhajer, has been crucial in augmenting the number of livestock and is expected to positively impact future agricultural development in the area.

According to Mr. Tesfalem Andom, Administrator of Ohmajer, there is no farm land that remains uncultivated. Owners of farm machineries always collaborate with farmers in plowing farmlands. Since Omhajer has a lot of cultivable land, a number of people from the highland have moved there and settled in a place called Kachero, where they are living as farmers.

The people of Omhajer cooperate with one another and share what they have in times of joy and difficulties. Together they cultivate farms reserved for the families of fallen heroes. Annually, on the occasion of 20th June, Martyrs Day, they donate money to support the Martyrs’ trust fund. Such noble values cement the unity that has existed among the people. Mr. Tesfalem said that there are around 84 families of fallen heroes in Omhajer, and 87 quintals of agricultural produce is reserved to be distributed to these families.

The Golug-Omhajer route is the biggest transportation line, and feeder roads have been easing transportation problems to the western areas such as Kachero and Aytref. Harat Transport Company has been providing transportation service three times a week.

Since Omhajer borders Ethiopia and Sudan, its inhabitants use telecommunication services from different service providers. The supply of electricity is expected to be extensively introduced with the expansion of Ketay farm project.
Omhajer borders Tekeze river and the area is very rich in underground water, resulting in abundant water supply.

When it comes to education, Mr. Tesfalem said there are schools targeting students of all age groups, from kindergarten to secondary schools.

Cattle and sheep are amongst the most visible resources of Omhajer. Last year’s ample production of animal feed and grazing land resulted in increase in the number of livestock. Mr. Tesfalem calls on farmers to take care of their environment and take precautionary measures to avoid fire that could destroy the grazing land.

Veterinary services, including vaccination, are regularly given to the farming communities by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Corporation of Crops and Livestock. Mr. Tesfalem finally commends all parties for their efforts in making a difference in all development activities of Omhajer.

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