From 1-5 June, farmers from different Africa RISING sites were trained in using small two-wheel multi-purpose tractors as part of an Africa RISING project led by CIMMYT.
Bedilu Desta is a farmer from Gudo Beret in Amhara. He was selected by his innovation platform to join the small scale mechanization training in Addis Ababa.
He lives with his father and other members of the family producing barley, wheat, beans and sesame on their four hectares of land. They consume most of what they produce.
They also have 17 cattle, 34 sheep, 17 goats and 6 horses. However, this number is decreasing because they sell cattle when they need money. If production from their farm was higher, he says , they wouldn’t have been pushed to sell their animals.
With five other service providers, he received training on how to operate and maintain the tractor. The good thing about the tractor, he says, is that in addition to ploughing they can be used for seeding, pumping water, threshing wheat, and to transport loads.
He says the two wheel tractor will help him save time and energy as it ploughs twice a fast as the traditional system using oxen. In addition, it does seeding and applies fertilizer at the same time. This will help in getting the right proportion of fertilizer for the different seeds and crop types.