The Office of Vice President for Research Affairs of Haramaya University distributed 460 quintals of different improved crop seeds varieties and 53 kg seed of different vegetable varieties for 7,000 farm households selected from 9 vulnerable woredas of East Hararge Zone on July 16, 2021 at Rare Seed Store.
According to Ato Feyisa Hundessa, Research Extension Team Coordinator at Haramaya University, the Research Office has been disseminating different problem solving research outputs/technologies and knowledge to the community through its outreach program.
The research technologies are outputs of the various research activities conducted by the Haramaya University or elsewhere, Ato Feyisa added.
In 2021 cropping season, the Extension Office has disseminated about 27 different technologies mainly targeting Farmers Training Centers (FTCs), women and youth groups, farmer households, and cooperatives.
The disseminated technologies include improved crop varieties and agronomic practices, improved livestock breeds and husbandry practices, improved forage varieties and animal feeds, nutrition, and others.
In addition, different knowledge and skill gap filling trainings were conducted on different demand driven topics, according to the Coordinator.
Ato Feyisa added that in the same cropping season, more than 800 quintal seeds of different improved crop and forage varieties and 700 chickens of improved breeds were distributed through the regular extension activities.
The current rainfall deficit affected a huge number of farming households in East Hararghe Zone through causing crop failure and significant loss of livestock.
The affected households received improved seeds of cereal crops such as maize, sorghum, and wheat; pulse crops such as common bean and chickpeas; and vegetables such as cabbage, onion, carrot, Swiss chard, leek, and beetroot.
The University, in overall, has distributed over 460 quintals of improved seeds that values over 3,000,000 ETB. Generally, a total of 7,000 affected households benefited from the University’s generous and timely intervention.
In a brief speech which he made at the occasion, Professor Jeylan Wolyie, Vice President for Administration & Student Affairs and delegate of the University’ President, emphasised that Haramaya University always stands with the communities and makes direct participation in the communities effort in tackling socio-economic, environmental and ecological challenges that affect their food security and livelihoods.
He reminded representatives of the households who came to the University to collect the improved seeds that Haramaya University will continue to intervene in man-made as well as nature-induced problems that affect the production and productivity of the surrounding farmers, pastoral and agro-pastoral communities through its integrated, need-based and participatory community engagement and research activities.
The Vice President indicated that Haramaya University has long assumed the central responsibility for preparing and delivering improved seeds to increase the surrounding communities’ production and productivity.
Professor Jeyilan also reminded the audience that the improved seeds being distributed for the needy are the outcome of the University’s decision to benefit the affected communities through its seed supply arrangements and seed-based technological interventions.
He underlined that given the expansiveness of the impact which the recent rain failure has exerted in the Region, the size of the improved seeds which the University has availed is too small to fully address the acute sense of scarcity being felt by these and other hardest hit households in diverse woredas of the Zone.
In connection to this, he called up on concerned government and donor agencies to extend their generous hands of assistance to protect the smallholder farmers in the Zone from becoming vulnerable potentially large-scale food crises that may follow rainfall-induced crop failure.
Among the beneficiaries, Chala Usman and Kimiya Mumed expressed their gratitude and they said they are proud and thanked Haramaya University for providing improved seeds to solve problem related to shortage of seed variety.