The Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian Highlands recently held a series of training sessions for farmers and project partners from the extension and the national research systems on forage production, feed management, and utilization. More than 70 participants from various project locations in Amhara, Oromia, Tigray and the SNNP regions took part in the trainings which were held at the ILRI Addis Ababa Campus and Bishoftu from 18 – 30 November.

Built around five modules on feed and forage farming, the training sessions aimed to strengthen project partners’ capacities on the basic concepts of multi-stakeholder engagement, implementation of gender mainstreaming in programs, data management as well as some practical lessons on feed and forage development.

Participants visiting a forage site at Bishoftu. Photo credit: Haimanot Seifu/ILRI.

Through this activity, Africa RISING aims to strengthen the capacity of project partners and farmers to produce better quality feed resources for livestock as an entry point to the intensification of the smallholder farming systems in Ethiopia. Livestock is integral to rural livelihoods in Ethiopia. Pastoral and agro-pastoral systems sustain the people in the arid and semi-arid areas. In the highlands, where crop-livestock systems dominate and the majority of Ethiopians live, production of staple food crops is dependent upon draught oxen, dairy products are important both for subsistence and as saleable commodities and small ruminant sales earn income and buffer shocks to household economies.

Participant of capacity building training in Addis Ababa.Photo credit: Haimanot Seifu/ILRI.

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