In May this year, CGIAR partners in the Africa RISING Ethiopia project visited Lemo and Basona Worena woredas to meet with nationala nd local partners including universities, extension agencies, agricultural research centres and farmers about the project progress as well as the planned research activities.
Peter Thorne (Africa RISING project coordinator) and Kindu Mekonnen (Africa RISING project scientist) presented the progress of the Africa RISING project. Capacity building and knowledge sharing related issues were important discussion points.
The team also presented research protocols on irrigated fodder, crop residues, tree lucerne, small scale faba bean, forage production and fruit and avocado trees to more than 200 farm households. The team identified five research groups with 25-50 team members for each of the protocols. Farmers showed much interest in the different research groups.
The team also visited Areka Agricultural Research Center to meet with researchers and the center director, mainly on Enset bacterial wilt disease and processing related issues.
A similar field visit to Basona Worana woreda was an opportunity for the team to identify farmer research groups that will be involved in the the different research activities. They also visited a government initiated watershed management site that conducts action research with extension, universities and researchers. Farmers asked for more evidences of ways this watershed management initiative can change their livelihoods and improve natural resources.
The team had a fruitful meeting with staff from the Debre Birhan Research Center, Debre Birhan University and North Shewa zone and Basona Worena woreda agricultural office. Issues raised included livestock internal and external parasites and diseases, improved cross-bred animals, seed supply for major improved crops, and the engagement of researchers in the implementation of current research protocols.
The group had also visited an integrated fruit trees and livestock private farm where the project is supporting training and demonstration activities for farmers on how to grow and manage apple, pear and other highland fruit tree species.