In 12 March 2021, the interim administration of Tigray sent a brief assessment report on the impact of the war in Tigray on agriculture and the environment of the region to the federal Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Resources. On the same data, it also sent recovery plan paper (see here). The assessment report paints a grim picture of the lives of Tigrayan farmers and the region’s population in general due to damages caused by the war on Tigray.
The following are some of the main points of the assessment report:
- There is an ongoing extrajudicial killing of civilian farmers by armed forces across all areas of Tigray. Central, North-western and Eastern Tigray which are controlled by Eritrean troops are heavily impacted by such killings. There is heavy killing by Amhara ethnic militia that fully control Western Tigray. The violence by Amhara militia is now spreading to Southern and South-eastern zones of Tigray.
[Note: in fact, the violence has since the publication of this report spread to the south and south-eastern zones where multiple reports indicate gruesome summary executions of farmers.]
- Farm produces, homes appliances, and farming equipment are looted by Eritrean soldiers and Amhara ethnic militia across the region.
- The war started during harvest season and most farmers have not properly harvested their produce.
- Farmers in southern, south-eastern and parts of central Tigray incurred damage from locust invasion.
- The war in combination with the locust invasion has heavily impacted food security in the region.
- The war created an administrative vacuum making it impossible to provide support to previous development aid recipients as databases were systematically destroyed and offices looted.
- Except in two Weredas, all agriculture and rural development offices have been looted. Employees do not have anywhere to sit, any stationery and other office equipment.
- 1 to 3 vehicles and all motorbikes from each Wereda across Tigray have been looted making it difficult to provide agricultural support to farmers.
- Veterinary clinics in almost all areas have been looted
- Equipment (electronic and other) in many farmer training centers have been looted.
- Livestock continue to be extensively looted and transported by trucks by Eritrean soldiers.
- Irrigation infrastructures have been damaged in many areas but there is a need for assessment of the extent of the damage.
- Properties and facilities of private agricultural investors in Raya Azebo Wereda have been fully destroyed.
- Over 95% of Tigray’s population is currently in need of humanitarian assistance as private properties and wealth are looted or work places are closed down.
- Over 95% of Tigray’s farmers cannot afford to buy agricultural inputs such as fertilizers, seed, pesticides. Most seed multiplication sites were left unharvested due to the war.
- About 4.5 million people in the region are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.
A recent reports (after the assessment) indicate that Eritrean and Ethiopian troops are destroying farming equipment and telling farmers that they are not allowed to do any farming during the coming rainy season.