Addis Ababa December 16/2021/ENA/ The terrorist TPLF has deliberately ruined the fertility of more than 1.5 million hectares of agricultural land during its occupation of areas in Amhara and Afar regions, Ministry of Agriculture announced.
In an exclusive interview with ENA, State Minister of Agriculture Dr. Meles Mekonnen said the nationwide plan for this farming season was to cultivate 13 million hectares of agricultural land across the country and harvest 375 million quintal.
However, the terrorist TPLF group deliberately destroyed more than 1.5 million hectares of agricultural land in areas it occupied by invasion in Amhara and Afar regions, the State Minister said.
The group had inflicted damages on the farming activities by deliberately setting fire and ramming on agricultural lands with various military vehicles, he added. Most of the farming lands were covered with seeds and matured crops.
The stated agricultural lands were looted and destroyed by the terrorist TPLF, according to the State Minister.
During its occupation of the areas in Afar and Amhara, the group has also used the farming lands for mass graves and trenches, he said.
The atrocities of the group also include mass slaughtering of oxen that the farmers use to till the land and even looted properties of farmers including farming tools, livestock and seeds, the State Minister added.
Farmers in those areas sustained a huge psychological pressure even traumatized because of the TPLF invasion, he said.
According to the State Minister, efforts are currently underway to organize various stake holders to solicit supports with a view to find research based solutions to make up the lost produce and rehabilitate the land.
Those farmers in both Amhara and Afar region are currently getting back to their farm lands, he said.
However, since most of them do not even have selected seeds, the Ministry is calling on to donors to assist in this regard, he said and encourage farmers to share seeds with fellow farmers.
According to him various efforts are underway to make up the lost harvest using irrigation, especially to produce various fruits and vegetables that grow fast among other mechanisms.