The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has called for the provision of seeds and fertilizers to farmers in conflict-affected northern Ethiopia ahead of the main rainy season.
“Seeds and fertilizers must be made available urgently to farmers in conflict-affected northern Ethiopia to support the Meher (Ethiopia’s main rainy season) planting season which is only a few weeks away. “, said UNOCHA, quoted by the Xinhua news agency.
He said the overall humanitarian situation in northern Ethiopia remains dire, as the UN continues to work closely with all stakeholders to scale up much-needed assistance in the regions of Tigray, Afar and Amhara.
“Food and nutrition security in conflict-affected communities in northern Ethiopia will be further affected if seeds and fertilizers are not provided to farmers on time before the harvest season,” UNOCHA warned. .
Ethiopia’s main rainy season, which runs from June to September, contributes to the production of around 85 to 95 percent of the country’s food crops, according to government figures.
UNOCHA has warned that the lack of supply of seeds and fertilizers will lead to a third consecutive poor agricultural season in conflict-affected areas.
“The implication of a third consecutive poor agricultural season will be devastating to the lives and livelihoods of the conflict-affected population,” he said.
In the Tigray region, UNOCHA said, some 60,000 metric tons (MT) of fertilizer, 50,000 MT of improved seeds, 40,000 liters of pesticides and 34,000 liters of fungicides are needed. In addition, vaccines, drugs and equipment are also needed for at least 12 million head of cattle.
In the Amhara region, 3.3 million farmers need at least one type of agricultural intervention; of these, 2.6 million farmers are targeted for several types of agricultural interventions.
The UN has estimated that more than 9 million people are now in need of food aid in the conflict-affected northern regions of Ethiopia.
Humanitarian aid is heading to the Tigray region recently, although insufficient according to the UN, after the Ethiopian government and the rebels of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) agreed to a conditional cessation of hostilities and the unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid to the region.
The TPLF and the Ethiopian National Defense Force, backed by allied forces, are engaged in an 18-month conflict that has reportedly left tens of thousands dead and millions more in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.
The Ethiopian parliament designated the TPLF as a terrorist organization in May 2021.
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