Suitable Crop Choice Maintains Production in Eritrea

SEADS Handbook Location: Chapter 5

Oxfam’s Sustainable Livelihoods project was implemented in 24 satellite villages in Mai Mine sub-zone and one village in Mendefera sub-zone, Debub Region, Eritrea from January 2006 to February 2007. The project focused on seed multiplication, livestock restocking, and small businesses (pottery making, small-scale irrigation, and community nurseries) and benefited 3,957 households.

Emergency seed distribution was implemented in seven villages in Dekemhare sub-zone affected by hailstorms. The program was originally requested by the Debub Zone Administration. Oxfam, with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), undertook a rapid appraisal of the affected villages. The program distributed 47,000 kg of chickpea seeds to 1,683 households (64% of which were women headed). The purchase and distribution of seeds were conducted by the village seed committee, MoA, and Oxfam field staff.

The impact of distributed chickpea seeds to the farmers who lost their long-cycle crops was demonstrated by an increase in production. According to the evaluation results, 60% of the beneficiaries produced 100 kg of chickpeas that otherwise would have been lost because of hailstorms. Observations and witnesses from the communities indicated that the program achieved its immediate objective of mitigating the effect of hailstorms by allowing the affected farmers to plant an alternative crop (chickpeas) before the end of the planting season. Focus group discussions and individual interviews with the target communities indicated that this project was flexible and rapid enough to allow the affected farmers to take advantage of the last cycle of rains.

Oxfam (2007). Evaluation of sustainable livelihoods, internally displaced persons’ (IDP) support, and emergency seed distribution projects in Eritrea. Oxfam. https://policy-practice.oxfam.org/resources/evaluation-of-sustainable-livelihoods-internally-displaced-persons-idp-support-119443/.