BENEFIT portfolio programmes in Tigray region, namely ISSD, SBN and CASCAPE organised training of trainers’ workshop for 54 agricultural experts convened from Western and North-western Tigray zone on sesame, sorghum, mung bean and soybean production and marketing. The ToT was organised from the 17th-18th of June 2017 at Shire.
The training was organised with the objective of enhancing the knowledge of woreda agricultural experts and development agents on: improved production packages; soil fertility management; seed system, quality seed production and management; gender mainstreaming in agriculture and grain and seed marketing.
Trainees were happy with the contents and knowledge gained in the training of trainers’. They stated that they have gained new knowledge from the training on gender issues. They said they will include this in the training session that they are going to organize in their kebeles soon after they get back to their localities.
Participants acquired new knowledge on biology and cultural controlling mechanism for the newly polyphagous insect called fall army worm. This pest is attacking sorghum and maize in some of the woredas in which BENEFIT programmes are operating. There is also a probability of expanding to other woredas and other crops too.
During the discussion participant asked the representatives of Tigray Agricultural Research Center (TARI) and Mekelle University to find out some solutions such as chemicals as the current controlling mechanisms- just picking up by hand is cumbersome.
Participants expressed their hope that partner programmes will further do their best in addressing the major challenges in the areas of soil fertility problems, striga infestation, lack of formal seed system and/or improvement on farmers to farmer seed exchange), lack of row planters for sesame and capacity development to experts and farmers.