Agriculture: The Basis for All-round Development

Food security does not only amount to ensuring the continuation of generations, but also is the basis for all-round development. Not a single nation has managed to maintain national security and sustain development programs without surplus agricultural yield in store. Indeed, once this lofty goal is fulfilled, any society, relieved of migration and aid handouts, would be poised in earnest towards invention and innovation, researches on sciences and schools of thought, commerce, industry, as well as cultural and artistic works. The basis of security and prosperity other than ensuring food security is the capacity to harvest a bumper agricultural yield. China, a country that underwent a long period of severe misery, has within a short time joined the global economic powerhouse owing to half a century agricultural and industrial revolution.

Africa is the continent that suffers from food scarcity, recurrent drought and famine the most in the contemporary world. Researches indicate that one-third–almost 1 billion people–of Africa’s population lives in constant deprivation. Around 300 million others are unable to feed on even a one time daily meal. Such a problem is essentially ascribed to the continent’s lack of ability to earn agricultural expertise. Africa’s per hectare agricultural output since the 1960s has not exceeded ten quintals at the most. And hence, food consumption rate, as opposed to the continent’s fast growth in population, has as yet been disproportionate.

Eritrea’s agricultural activities did not bear a different picture than that of Africa. Instead, repressive colonial policies coupled with protracted war and drought rendered efforts of the Eritrean people grossly inoperative to modernize the country’s farming industry. Besides, the topography of the country and presumptuous deforestation have given rise to grave soil erosion, thereby severely dwindling the fertility of the land. Due to the aforementioned pressing problems, the hard-working Eritrean people was thus compelled to subsist on the short-lived aid handouts.

Cognizant of the primacy of food security in the national development drive, the government of independent Eritrea has accorded food security top priority in its development strategy. Accordingly, the Eritrean government has made substantial investment to put in place the requisite infrastructure, and thus, modernize traditional agriculture, boost productivity of the sector and organize a nationwide undertaking. As a result, the construction of water harvesting structures and water diversion schemes, land leveling activities, as well as the introduction of modern irrigation system has paved the way towards modern and extensive agriculture. Engaged in the farm industry, irrigation and animal husbandry, the industrious Eritrean people is tirelessly slaving away for better quality of life. Institutions of the government and the Front are also spearheading the endeavors to harvest bumper agricultural yield in store. Of the major accomplishments scored over the past two decades, the success story of uprooting dependency and the resoluteness to boost productivity through internal capacity are rated at the forefront. Only few nations–including Eritrea–have succeeded in resting their strong convictions on internal capacity. Based on the experience acquired, the capacity thus far cultivated to accomplish a task, and the ever advancing popular campaign together with the introduction of modern machineries would lay the groundwork for the realization of the country’s grand vision.

On the occasion of the 20th Independence Day anniversary celebrations, a symposium of the Ministry of Agriculture is scheduled to be held on April 04 through 06, in Barentu. It is expected that the Ministry will be conducting a thorough appreciation of the experience gained so far, and thus, infer  a clear-cut strategy in a bid to orient the task of food security and accumulate national reserve through reinforcing the existing agricultural infrastructures