Haramaya University (HrU) Office of Research Affairs donated 3416 quintals of improved (quality) seeds which is worth 17 million birr to 21 drought-affected woredas in East Hararge Zone and Harari Regional State in a ceremony held on June 1, 2022 at the Main Campus.

Haramaya University’s Vice President for Research Affairs, Dr. Tesfaye Lema, handed over the donation to the East Hararge Zone Agricultural Development Office.

According to Dr. Tesfaye, the improved seeds will be distributed to farmers in western and eastern Hararge zones and Harari Regional State that are affected by this year’s harvest as a result of drought.

To replace the damaged crops, the East Hararghe Zone Office of Agriculture requested different stakeholders including Haramaya University (HU) to support farmers through emergency seeds supply. Based on this ground, HU sourced about 3415.75 Qts of seeds and allocated them to 21 woredas in East and West Hararghe Zones and Harari Regional State.

There are about six crop types and 11 varieties sourced and allocated for distribution. This includes Wheat (Kingbird, Wane, Kakeba, Danda’a), Teff (Bose), Chickpea (Ararti), Maize (Melkasa-2) and Common bean (Ser-125, Awash-2, Ayanew and Tinike).

Generally, it is expected that about 5,662.42 ha of land will be covered by different quality seeds of high-yielding varieties. Based on the average yield estimation on the farmer’s field, about 160,775.33 Qts of different grains might be harvested from the indicated land area.

Similarly, based on the current grain price estimation, a gross return of 548,742,666.67 million birr might be generated from the sale of the grain. This will significantly contribute to household food and income security, dietary diversity and the possibility of seed saving and exchange for the following year.

Overall, about 17,406,725 million birr have been spent to buy the seeds, it was indicated.

On the occasion of the hand over, Ato Getahun Nigatu, head of the zonal Agriculture Office East Hararghe Zone, said currently, Hararghe Zones are hit by drought.

Farmers had lost an average of more than 90% of the belg/bone season crop production due to lack of rainfall, he added.

Furthermore, the meher/ganna rain season started over a month late and has been very poor with only a couple of rainfall days, according to Ato Nigatu.

This significantly delayed land preparation and planting activities in the lowland; whereas complete or partial damages to long maturity crops in the highland and midland, he added.

Ato Nigatu said his office is working in collaboration with various donors  specially with the HrU to prevent the drought and the University’s support has played a significant role in alleviating the problem and the  seed support will be distributed to the farmers at the zonal and woreda agriculture offices.

“The University has always stood by our side and solved the problems of our people,” Ato Getahun said.

By: – Shemsedin Mohammed

Camera: – Fuad Ahmed

Haramay University Public & International Relations Directorate