Since 2013, the Africa RISING project in Sinana district (woreda) has engaged local partners in its research for development interventions in two villages (kebeles). The aim of this partnership is to bring joint efforts to test and evaluate technologies that work best in the local context, identify innovations preferred by farmers and support scaling up within and beyond the woreda. The key local partners includes Madawalabu University, the district office of agriculture and the zone office of agriculture.
The project established and facilitated Innovation Platforms (IPs) to bring actors together regularly to create common goals, and to design, implement and communicate integrated system research for development interventions in the site. These platforms are created at woreda, kebele and community levels and interlinked to co-create knowledge and innovations and communicating the findings for wider impacts.
Drawing on earlier participatory diagnostic work with the communities, prioritized research agendas were brought to Sinana research sites and tested through participatory variety selection, testing and adapting on farmers’ fields in 2014. Now, Africa RISING partners have formally joined hands to scaling up two technologies (potato and apple) that were tested and preferred by farmers.
An agreement was recently signed between Madawalabu University, the office of agriculture and the Ilu-Sanbitu kebele administration to work together to scale potato varieties by supplying potato seed, revolving the seed and engage new farmers each season. The zone office of agriculture and Madawalabu University also agreed to scale up preferred potato and apple varieties across the Sinana woreda and a further 17 districts.