More than 600 participants attend field days in SNNPR

BENEFIT-ISSD organized field days in two of SNNPR woredas, Derashe & Kedida Gambela. The field day attracted more than 600 participants which were drawn from farmers project area, other villages, zonal heads of sector offices, technical staffs and project staffs were participants of the field days. The welcoming speeches of all the field days were conducted by Heads BoANR and BENEFIT-ISSD Scientific Coordinator.  The field days were organized to last for six consecutive days, from August 10 -15, 2017.

BENEFIT–ISSD has been organizing field days for a range of participants at its sites, research kebeles and uses it as good extension approach to address the community’s problem. The four project kebeles (Atena, haibena, taza gereba and jore) were selected for this field day since the new BENEFIT-ISSD initiative in informal seed system has been implemented on those Kebeles and to share lessons learned from project implementation.

Strengthening informal seed systems: 5 crops – 33 varieties

BENEFIT-ISSD initiated to support the informal seed system with a focus of creating access to farmers preferred crop varieties, improve role of women farmers in variety selection, seed production, management and improve nutrition. Moreover, the ISSD/SNNPR focuses in supporting the system on deploying many varieties through participatory variety selection trial (PVS) and crowd Sourcing (CS).

Currently, five (5) crops; sorghum, haricot bean, teff, finger-millet, and faba bean were selected as priority and for start-up in the system. These crops were identified during a focused group discussion (FGD) which was held in 2016. So far, more than thirty-three (33) varieties have been accessed from different sources and injected in the system.

Training to support participatory variety selection and crowd-sourcing

To accelerate the output on the system training have been done on designing and implementing participatory varietal selection trials (CS & PVS), mainstreaming gender, principles of agricultural experimental designs, and a review on Ethiopian seed system performance. Woreda agriculture office has taken the mandate of identifying and selecting operation sites. Twelve (12) beneficiary groups in six (6) woredas established and developed group guideline, awareness created on crowd sourcing and access varieties of different crops for CS & PVS trials in selected woredas.

As a follow up to this, the project practices recommended agricultural approaches to achieve the desire objectives in the sector. Field day is the one which plays a great role and proved a strong mechanism for cross-project learning as they have engaged farmers, extension, NGOs, Universities, market dealers, industries and other value chain actors across the whole project stakeholder spectrum.

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