Eritrea’s ministry of agriculture has announced the release of a revised seed policy document aimed at further developing the formal seed sector in the country. The move is part of the government’s ongoing efforts to achieve food and nutrition security, with the production of quality seed features seen as a key factor in this policy.
The original seed policy document was issued in 2002 and helped to develop and distribute cereal and vegetable crops to farmers, enhancing crop production and productivity. Despite significant progress, however, there have been several challenges in the sector.
To address these challenges, the ministry established a technical committee consisting of the National Agricultural Research Institute, the agricultural extension department, and the regulatory services department. The committee analysed experiences gained in the sector over the past 20 years and future trends to produce a revised seed policy document for consideration by the agriculture ministry.
A consultative workshop was held in February this year to gather information to enrich the revised seed policy document.
Around 40 participants, including senior officials from the agriculture ministry, Hamelmalo Agriculture College, and Zobas, took part in the workshop. The workshop was described as highly participatory, with many views and comments expressed to further improve the draft document.
According to Tekleab Misghina, director general of the regulatory services department, “considerable progress has been made in crop research to develop new varieties and distribute them to farmers via the extension system, which further strengthened the formal seed sector. These developments, among others, have brought in new experiences and dimensions to the formal seed sector in Eritrea.”
The revised seed policy document aims to address challenges and provide effective strategic direction to develop the formal seed sector further. Its contribution to achieving national food and nutrition security remains among the main goals of the government of Eritrea.
The release of the document is expected to provide a much-needed boost to the country’s formal seed sector, ensuring the production of quality seed features to achieve food and nutrition security.
Eritrea is located in the Horn of Africa and shares borders with Ethiopia, Sudan, and Djibouti. The country has a long coastline along the Red Sea, making it strategically located for international trade.
Agriculture is the largest sector of the Eritrean economy, providing livelihoods for around 70% of the population. Despite its potential, the agriculture sector has faced numerous challenges over the years, including droughts, soil erosion, and inadequate infrastructure. However, the government of Eritrea has been working to develop the sector and achieve food and nutrition security through different policies.