The Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and the Ministry of Marine Resources (MoMR) jointly will host a National Organic Fertilizer Conference under the theme – ‘Organic Fertilizers to Boost Safe & Nutritious Food Production!’‘ Production!’ from 26-27, April 2023 in Asmara.
According to the Public Relations Division of the MoA, the event will cover a number of paper presentations, video and poster shows; exhibitions, as well as field visits to solid and liquid fertilizers production sites.
During the conference, senior organic agriculture and related experts from Eritrea, Germany, Uganda, Rwanda, Benin and representatives from FAO, ASARECA and others will present research-based papers, case studies and their practical experiences.
According to Mr. Dermas Sultan, Chairperson of the Organic fertilizers and Bio-pesticides Promotion Committee, papers on Promoting Sustainable Soil Management to increase Organic Resources in Farmlands and landscapes in Sub Saharan Africa; Organic Fertilizer with Microorganisms for Regenerative Farming Made in Eritrea, Promotion of Bokashi Fermented Organic; Fertilizer in Eritrea; Impact of Organic Fish Amino Acid and Seaweed Liquid Fertilizer on Plant Health and Yield; Farmers Perspective on solid and liquid organic fertilizer; The Response of Compost on crop yield; Crop Response to Green Manure; Regulating organic fertilizer etc. are expected to shed light on the current and future prospects of organic fertilizers with in the country and at regional and global levels.
The use of chemical fertilizers to boost agricultural yield has been a key element of modern agriculture for the past few decades. However, excessive use and mismanagement of such inputs have also been causing environmental degradation, soil and water contamination, and subsequent human and animal health risks. To prevent further damage and restore the already affected farmlands, the focus of using yield-improving agricultural inputs has been directed towards application of organic and sustainable inputs.
Organic agricultural inputs are known to be of different types in terms of source of material, composition, and form (liquid or solid).
Among the many different types are those made from marine-based sources. According to Mr. Temesgen Gebremeskel, one of the coordinators of the conference representing the Marine Resources sector states that production of liquid fish amino acid and seaweed liquid fertilizers are of the major types of organic liquid fertilizers made from marine resources.
He noted that the MoMR took an initiative to produce fish amino acid and seaweed liquid fertilizers from discarded fish and beached seaweed some years ago. Preliminary trials of the liquid fertilizers gave promising results that the Ministry approached the MoA with findings of the pilot project. Concurrently, the MoA was involved in some pilot projects to introduce solid organic fertilizers. To harmonize both the initiatives, the ministries established a joint national technical committee, in February 2021, to boost the production of both solid and liquid fertilizers as well as biopesticides. After its establishment, the national committee has been conducting a number of trials in different agro-ecological areas of the country. According to Mr. Dermas Sultan, it is the output of these trials that gave rise to the idea of conducting a national conference with the following objectives;
- Presenting recent research outputs and agricultural innovations with regards to organic farming
- Promoting Eritrea’s achievements in the production and application of organic fertilizers
- Sharing experiences/ standpoints among national, regional and international experts
- Proposing a future strategic plan on the production and use of organic inputs in a larger scale
- Promoting further collaboration among participants and organizations
- Improving public awareness on the use of organic fertilizers
During the conference, more than 130 participants which include senior government officials, representatives of UN bodies, EU, ASARECA, EIDP, VITA, and other international organizations; experts and researchers and progressive farmers are expected to attend.
Public Relations Division
Ministry of Agriculture
15 April, 2023