by Joakim Larsen
Lack of rain in parts of the country is expected to bring around 11 million Ethiopians in danger of a hunger catastrophe. The national government has declared that they will help.
Around Lake Ashenge, however, the rains have been good this year. Lake Ashenge is located in the highlands of Southern Tigrinia, only a few kilometers from the deep, hot, and dry African Rift Valley to the East.
As I stopped to enjoy the view a man came over to me. I thought I was in trouble for trespassing, having walked into his fields to find the good spot for a photograph. But instead he spontaneously began explaining to me about the harvest... in Amharic. After a few repetitions it became clear: the millet and the maize harvest will be good this year in this area. But there is a problem with the wheat; a fungus disease has been spreading from field to field, killing many of the plants.
"At this point, it is too late to do any disease control.
On some of the fields the harvest will be very small.
All we can do now is leave it in the hands of God" he said.
The maize is already harvested. And the millet is ripening.
These crops will be good this year.
This farmer patiently explained to me - in Amharic - how some of the crops were affected by fungus. The disease is spreading from field to field. The quality of this years wheat harvest will be good. But the total yield will be small. He pointed to the field behind him, where maybe half the plants never grew properly.
On the other side of the lake, the wheat crops are expected to give a good yield.
Here there are no problems with fungus.
Sharing is happiness...