Over 160 agricultural experts, development agents, staffs from farmers’ cooperatives and private input suppliers were trained on sesame pest and disease management on 30th of August and 1st of September 2016 at GARC’s research centres in Metema and Sanja.
The training sessions were organized by Gondar Agricultural Research Center (GARC) in collaboration with woreda offices of agriculture and BENEFIT-SBN.
The objectives of the training were to: help farmers identify most common sesame weeds, insects and disease that are economically important in sesame production in north Gondar zone; create awareness on different pest and disease management options; on the most common chemicals used for sesame weeds, insect and pest control and on calibration and safety issues in applying chemicals.
Training sessions were started by testing participants’ skill in identifying sesame weeds using their local and scientific names. Then, the training went on by identifying different and most common sesame weed types in north Gondar sesame producing areas. Participants were able to identify local and scientific names of weed type and types of most common sesame insects; they were also trained on the damage level and management options of different weeds and pests. Participants were made to carefully look into the sesame plants and collect web worm and aphid insect types from the demo plots by themselves.
In the end, the practical use of knapsack sprayer and safety measures during chemical application was demonstrated to participants.
Training participants’ feedback
Participants gave positive feedback on the training. Mr. Alene Mengistu is a private input dealer at Tegede woreda. This is the first time when he participated in such kind of training. “The training is helpful, so far I was simply selling chemicals to farmers. I don’t know exactly what different pest and disease look like. This training will help me to give possible advices to farmers on how to use chemicals while selling. Though it was short, it was very helpful for individuals like me.” Said Mr.
Mr. Asnake Eseyehun is a staff at Selferdi multi-purpose farmers’ cooperative. The cooperative provides chemicals to farmers at a fair price, but they do not give technical advice to farmers on how to use the chemicals. They have very limited knowledge on the rate, application time and method of different recommended chemicals. Mr. Asnake said: “This practical training is crucial for us. Though the period is limited, we have seen different pests and disease of sesame, recommended chemicals; we have learnt on chemical application. We will pass this knowledge to our member farmers.”