InnovAfrica conducted a Field Day

 

InnovAfrica conducted a Field Day at Kombolcha and Meta woredas on Farmers Training Centers (FTCs) in project implementation sites with the objective of disseminating best practices on maize-common been intercropping and livestock-brachiaria system.

“Ensuring food and nutrition security of smallholder households is a critical challenge in areas characterized by small landholding size. To tackle the problem, InnovAfrica project has been demonstrating Sustainable Agricultural Intensification (SAI) practices such as crop diversification and livestock-brachiaria system integrated with efficient extension and advisory services (EASs) supported by innovative institutional approaches (IIAs),” according to Mr. Feyisa Hundessa, InnovAfrica Project Manager.

Mr. Feyisa added that the result from the first-year trial indicated that maize-common bean intercropping resulted in improved productivity with positive effect on soil fertility. The maize grain yield observed from trial was significantly higher than the average national yield reported for the crop.

The trial in the 2019 cropping season is also promising as observed during the field day. Unlike this, farmers in the area witnessed that their cereal crops and maize crop, in particular, were devastated by water-logging caused by high amount of rainfall.

The farmers highly demanded and requested the improved maize-common bean intercropping and livestock-brachiaria system along with their packages to be introduced to their fields in the next cropping season.

Representative from Afran Kallo Farmers’ Cooperative Union which is also an MAP member assured demand-based input supplies such as seeds and fertilizers for the coming cropping season. Similarly, representatives from zonal and district extension offices have also taken responsibilities to scale out the best field experiment practices of the InnovAfrica Project.

Appreciating the farmers’ participation, Mr Feyissa called upon all the remaining farmers and stakeholders to adopt and use the best innovative practices of agricultural production to secure sustainability of agricultural research development and production.

Farmers and various stakeholders’ representatives on their parts have expressed the interventions they observed were very encouraging, and appreciated and acknowledged the performance of the project as well as the University’s various activities.

After the farm visits, all the participants held a discussion session and deliberated on the efforts and achievements the University and the ways forward. The farmers raised their problems and worries such as getting hybrid seeds sustainably, opportunity and exposure to new technology with concerned officials giving explanations and briefings to the raised questions.

More than 30 stakeholders including farmers, extension workers, representative of zonal and district agriculture offices, Multi Actor’s Platform (MAP) members, representatives from the University, youth and women participated in the field day.

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