Nation Covers 15.8 Million Hectares of Farmland with Various Seeds During Meher Farming

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia has covered 15.8 million hectares of agricultural land with various crops during the current Ethiopian Meher farming season, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

In a press conference on Friday regarding the ongoing farming activities in the country, State Minister for Agriculture and Horticulture, Melese Mekonnen said Ethiopia had planned to cultivate 17.39 million hectares of land for the Meher season, which is Ethiopia's main farming season that extends from May to September.

Some 15.8 million hectares of land have so far been cultivated with various crops across the nation, according to the state minister.

Of the total, 7.66 million hectares were cultivated through cluster farming system, This includes 2.8 million hectares of wheat, against a target of 3.66 million hectares for the harvest, he added.

More than 2.69 hectares of land has been cultivated during the Belg season exceeding the planed 2.48 hectares, he pointed out noting that some 1.87 hectares of the cultivated crops have so far been harvested.

Melese noted Ethiopia has untapped potential for rice cultivation in Oromia, Gambella and Benishangul Gumuz regional states.

While traditionally less than 300,000 hectares of land were used for rice farming, mainly in the Fogera area, Ethiopia seeded over 990,000 hectares of rice this year, out of the 1.13 million hectare target.

According to the state minister, intensive efforts are underway to enhance the agriculture development of the country with a view to ensuring food self-sufficiency, boost export trade and import substitution as well as strengthen supply of industrial input.

The state Minister underscored the country's promising agricultural productivity and potential.

While lauding these achievements, the minister emphasized that more can be done to maximize Ethiopia's agricultural potential.

Overall, the state minister struck an optimistic tone regarding the future of Ethiopian agriculture. With ideal agro-ecological conditions and good rain the country is poised to become an agricultural success story, he said.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency