BENEFIT-REALISE conducts Review workshop

 

The Haramaya university BENEFIT-REALISE cluster conducted a two days review workshop from February 3-4, 2021 at Harar, Wonderland Hotel.

It was disclosed that the objectives of the meeting were presenting the major achievements of the project in the last three years under the four pathways, and to discuss with stakeholders on how to embed the lessons learnt and obtained results or validated best fit practices within the government regular extension program.

According to Dr. Bulti Tesso, Manager of REALISE Cluster and Assistant Professor at Haramaya University, “Realizing Agricultural Livelihood Sustainability in Ethiopia (REALISE)” is a three-year (2018-2020) project implemented with financial support of the Dutch government. The program was initiated with the goal of “enhanced human, organizational and institutional capacities to adapt, validate, and scale best fit practices to improve the resilience of chronically food insecure households in PSNP woredas”. The project, according to the officials, has envisaged achieving this goal through four primary outcomes which include: developed best fit practices that have the potential to contribute to increased productivity and resilience; increased availability, timely delivery and use of quality seeds; enhanced human, organizational and institutional capacities, and conducive environment for institutionalization of evidence-based system innovations.

Dr. Bulti added that the project targeted 36 PSNP kebeles of nine woredas (Haramaya, Kombolcha, Gurawa, Kersa, Meta, Jarso, Deder, Fedis and Bedeno) in East Hararghe zone.

In the last two years, the BENEFIT-REALISE project has validated and pre-scaled a total of 28 best fit practices (BFPs) and created access to these practices for 22,550 farmers, he added.

In addition, a total of 33,046 farmers have directly and indirectly accessed quality seeds. Moreover, the project has created four linkages among stakeholders in relation to seed production and supply, and trained about 85 extension and research staffs on validation, demonstration, and scaling of agricultural technologies as well as on seed production and management.

According to the information obtained from the project, the REALISE Program has been implementing various interventions under the four pathways.  The interventions were identified based on the findings of the participatory rural appraisal (PRA) conducted during the project commencement in 2018.

During the opening of the workshop, Dr. Tesfaye Lemma, Vice- President for Research Affairs of Haramaya University, explained the goal of the REALISE Program and the objectives of the implemented activities as well as the purpose of the workshop.

He appreciated the efforts of the participants of the workshop and the farmers and stakeholders in adopting and using the best innovative practices of agricultural production to realize agricultural livelihood security in the country.

On the workshop, 63 participants from woreda and zonal agriculture offices, cooperatives and unions, non-governmental organizations, community representatives, and Haramaya University had participated. During the workshop, the major achievements of REALISE project under the different pathways, the experiences of BENEFIT-ISSD and Afran Qallo farmers’ cooperative union on seed related issues were presented and discussed.

At the end of the workshop, a general discussion was conducted to create common understanding on the need for institutional embedding of REALISE’s results and approaches within the government regular extension program and to share responsibilities among stakeholders for its implementation.

The East Hararghe Zone Bureau of Agriculture & Natural Resources (BoANR) and representatives of the nine woredas have agreed to take up and institutionalize the REALISE results and approaches within their own extension programs and to start incorporating the implementation in their annual plans.

Other stakeholders including Haramaya University Research & Extension Office, Fedis Agricultural Research Center,

Afran Qallo farmers’ cooperative union, through their representatives, have also agreed to contribute their share to ensure the sustainability of the REALISE interventions; especially through multiplication of seeds for the selected crop varieties and providing technical and professional support.

Finally, it was agreed to establish a platform coordinated by the Zone Agriculture & Natural Resources (BoANR), and to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) among these stakeholders to realize the agreements reached during the general discussion of this workshop.

 

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