“If we hadn’t received the seeds from Haramaya University, several farmers in the Woreda would have faced a critical shortage of food crops,” Mr. Hamza Musa

Haramay University’s contribution in agriculture in East Hararghe

Haramaya University, in collaboration with the Haramaya Woreda Office of Agriculture, conducted a farmers’ field day at Ifa Oromia Kebele in Haramaya Woreda, East Hararghe Zone, Oromia Region, on November 3, 2022.

The field day was conducted to share experiences on best practices in improved agricultural technologies demonstrated in the Farmers’ Training Center (FTC) and farmers’ fields.

 Different farmers’ fields and demonstration activities on improved agricultural technologies being done in Ifa Oromia FTC were visited by surrounding farmers, researchers and officials from Haramaya University, and leaders and experts from Haramaya Woreda.

 The visit and observation started at farmers’ fields planted with improved wheat varieties and went to agricultural technology demonstration activities being done in the FTC. Participants in the field day had the opportunity to see over 24 (twenty-four) different crop and forage varieties planted with full packages in the Ifa Oromia FTC demonstration site. Maize, wheat, common bean, oats, and pseudo-alfalfa (melilotus) are among the major crops and forage varieties observed.

According to farmer Ahmed Robosho, who is one of the beneficiaries of improved wheat seeds and whose wheat field visited; the majority of the farmers in Ifa Oromia kebele, including himself, have been growing late-maturing maize and sorghum varieties that usually fail due to early off-set of rain. However, the farmer informed participants of the field day that the wheat he had grown was mature and ready for harvesting regardless of the early offset of the rain. He went on to say that if he hadn’t planted the wheat, his family would have gone hungry because his maize and sorghum crops would have failed.

Mr. Feyisa Hundessa, Haramaya University Research Extension Team Leader, briefly expressed that outreach activities are done by Haramaya University in its mandate area, including Haramaya Woreda. Mr. Feyisa said in his briefing that the Haramaya University Office of Research, through its outreach program, disseminated in different woredas more than 500 tons of seeds of various crop types, worth about 25 million Birr. Mr. Feyisa added that Haramaya Woreda is one of the beneficiary woredas, and it received more than 80 tons of improved seeds for various crops. He also stated that more than 55 (fifty-five) FTCs discovered in 24 woredas of East and West Hararghe zones, Harari Region, and Dire Dawa Administration will be addressed through improved agricultural technology demonstration in the 2022 cropping season (2015 E.C.).If Oromia FTC in Haramaya Woreda is among the FTCs with best practices for accommodating the three major agricultural technologies such as crop, livestock, and natural resources.

Mr. Hamza Mohammed, Haramaya Woreda Agriculture Extension Process owner, said that more than 1200 farmers benefited from seeds of various crops and improved chicken breeds they received from Haramaya University. He further said, “If we hadn’t received the seeds from Haramaya University, several farmers in the Woreda would have faced a critical shortage of food crops.”

Farmers, according to Mr. Hamza, should diversify their crops and focus on early-maturing crops as a mitigation strategy for the highly variable weather conditions that disrupt the seasonal calendar of growing crops. Mr. Hamza finally said his office is grateful to Haramaya University for the valuable support they have obtained so far, and he hoped to sustain the collaboration with Haramaya University.