25 May 2021, Mai-Mekden village, Tigray region, Ethiopia - Farmers, wearing protective face masks, carrying seed bags received from FAO at a distribution center. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has launched an emergency programme to safeguard the agricultural livelihoods of communities affected by conflict in the Tigray region, Ethiopia.

First Batch of Fertilizer Reach Farmers in Tigray

ADDIS ABABA – The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said it has delivered the first batch of 262 tonnes of fertilizers to Tigray in collaboration with the Government of Ethiopia. 

The NPS and urea fertilizers handed over today are part of the 19,300 tonnes set to be provided urgent support to farmers to plant in the Meher planting season, according to the UN Agency..

“The arrival of the fertilizers in Tigray marks an important step in restoring the capacity of farmers to produce their own food,” said Chimimba David Phiri, FAO Representative for Ethiopia. “We will continue to provide support to vulnerable communities.”  

“FAO, as the Agriculture Cluster Lead Agency, wishes to commend the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ethiopian Agriculture Business Commission, and all partners involved for tremendous work in facilitating the delivery of the NPS and urea fertilizer.”

In the coming weeks, FAO said 60 000 tonnes of fertilizers will be distributed to farmers to support crop production. 

With the rainfall outlook foreseen to be favorable in Tigray, the UN agriculture cluster agency said the provision of fertilizer “offers a crucial and cost-effective way to improve food availability across the region.” 

“Although the window for providing certain seeds is fast closing, there is still time for farmers to receive legume seeds, seedlings for tubers and other planting materials and enable them to take advantage of the favourable rainfall forecasts to produce steady supplies of nutritious foods,” said the Agency.

In 2021, farmers in the region produced 900,000 tonnes of staple foods, accounting for 40 percent of normal production, equivalent to seven to eight months of annual cereal needs for the region.

/LEIFeatured Image Caption: A Farmers carrying seed bags received from FAO at a distribution centre, Mai-Mekden village, Tigray region, Ethiopia, May, 2021. [Photo FFAO/Michael Tewelde]