Amhara Region Bureau of Agriculture, in collaboration with the region’s Agricultural Research Institute (ARARI) and BENEFIT-SBN support project, organised a four-day ToT workshop on sesame production package and marketing for over 300 agricultural professionals from March 12-15, 2016 at Woreta, south Gndar zone. Participants were drawn from Metema, Quara, Tegede, Mirab and Tach Armachiho woredas of the north Gondar zone and Jawi woreda from Agaw Awi zone.
The objective of the training was to increase agricultural professionals’ knowledge of the sesame production package and sesame marketing with the intention that trainees will go to their respective woredas and kebeles and organise similar training sessions for sesame farmers.
While officially opening the ToT workshop, Dr. Teshome Wale, head of Amhara BoA, said that the regional government gives special attention to the production and marketing of sesame. He said: “For long, the sesame production has largely been done in a traditional way. Many farmers have not yet been applying agricultural inputs and other improved technologies…. We have not yet excreted our efforts exhaustively. At present, the regional government is determined to change this situation. We set out to improve the productivity of sesame and be more competitive in the world market.”
Following Dr. Teshome’s opening remark, presentations were made on last years’ experience of sesame production and marketing in Amhara region and the sesame production package by Mr. Andualem Tadesse and Dr. Geremew Terefe, respectively. Discussions were also made on the topics presented.
The ToT was given for one and half day.
Participants were assigned in five different classes and trained on five different topics. The main training topics were sesame production, sesame pest and disease management, sesame marketing, soil fertility management and sesame extension.
In the afternoon of the third day, a planning session was organised for participants so that they could discuss on how to implement the regional plan in their respective woredas and kebeles. After making thorough discussions, representatives from the six woredas presented their woreda plans. Questions were raised and discussions were made.
In his closing remark, Dr. Shemelash Yeshanew, Amhara region BoA extension head, appreciated participants for their active participation. Dr. Shemelash expressed his ardent belief that the trainees will work hard to implement the plan with their full potential.
The resource persons for the training were Dr. Shemelashe Yeshanew (from BoA), Dr. Geremew Terefe and Mr. Andualem Taddesse (from BENEFIT-SBN) and Mr. Tewodros Tesfaye and Mr. Baye Ayalew (from ARARI-Gondar Agricultural Research Centre).
The ToT is part of the regional BoA plan. For the 2016 production season, the Amhara region BoA planned to cover 260,959 hectare of land in sesame and produce 2.4 quintals. It is also planned to increase the productivity of sesame to 10 quintals per hectare. To achieve this, over 90,000 farmers will be trained across the six sesame producing woredas. Trainees, therefore, will get back to their woredas and will roll-out similar training sessions for thousands of farmers.