Ethiopia Readying Over 5bln Tree Seedlings for Kiremt Rainy Season

ADDIS ABEBA – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s Office has announced his country’s target to plant at least 5 billion trees in the upcoming rainy season in Ethiopia, which will start in June.

The plan was revealed during the Prime minister’s visit to one of the nursery sites that is readying tree seedlings to be planted in Kiremt, Ethiopia’s longest rainy season.

Last year, the East African nation managed to surpass its Green Legacy goal, conceived by the Prime Minister, of planting 200 million trees in a day at over 1,000 sites.

The country managed to plant four billion trees in total throughout the rainy season.

“Based on this experience, #Ethiopia aims to plant 5 billion seedlings this year,” the PM office said on Friday.

The tree seedlings, which include avocado and mango, are being nursed in 38,000 sites across the nation, according to reports.

Planting of the seedlings will start in mid-June this year if the nation managed to contain the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Abiy said.

Over the years, much of the country’s forest coverage has been reduced to 4 percent from 30 percent at the end of the 19th century, according to a 2019 estimate.

Ethiopia’s rapidly growing population and the need for more farmland, unsustainable forest use and climate change are often cited as the causes for rapid deforestation.

The Green Legacy Initiative aims to plant up to 20 billion seedlings over the next four years, including the upcoming season as a wider reforestation campaign.

Last year, Ethiopians planted more than 350 million trees in a single day and broke the world record.

Most of them have grown well due to better rainfall and proper protection, Prime Minister Abiy said.

Image: Prime Minister Abiy and Chief Administrator of Oromia region Shemelis Abdissa visiting the status of tree seedlings raised for planting at the Sodere nursery site on April 24, 2020. [Photo PMoE]