• Wheat rust severity gets below one per cent
Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resource revealed that a great amount of yield is expected by 2018 based on the current trajectory. It was indicated that integrated effects have been exerted on protecting the crop from diseases and insects with effective pesticide management and distribution.
According to Plant Protection Director Zebdiyos Salato, the Ministry has also been implementing a monitoring, forecasting and early warning strategy. The strategy is being already implemented in sixty Woredas of the Amhara, Oromia, Southern Nations Nationalities and peoples and Tigray States after
agriculture extension workers were trained, the Director also noted.
“We share early warning and forecasting information with farmers and agriculture extension workers via SMS and email. As soon as they see the sign of wheat rust they text us messages and the Ministry would take the necessary measures”.
He said the reports coming from seventeen research centers throughout the country indicated that the severity rate of wheat rust incidence has reached below one per cent based on its current trajectory. As a result, there is no significant impact at the current status of agriculture products, Zebdiyos underscored.
Furthermore, the Director indicated that the wheat rust incidence was detected in all the sixty Woredas aforementioned states, but it was successfully put under control through the various proactive measures taken by the Ministry, agriculture extension workers and the farmers. Even though pesticide is the least option used to control wheat rust, there is enough chemical pesticides imported by different stakeholders and distributed to the states.
According to him, monocropping has been the major culprit for the incidence. Raising awareness has been one of the major tasks undertaken over the past year to encourage farmers to farm their land with variety crops. Control measures have been also taken using trap nursery methods.
Zebdiyos said there is a technique command post - which is led by the State Minister - that assess every Friday the progress made in preventing the pest, and gives guidelines on next steps.
Ethiopia utilizes 1.6 million hectares of wheat production per annum.
BY HENOK TIBEBU