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Training on sesame pest and disease control

During action planning, SBN stakeholders pointed out that sesame pest and disease infestation is one of the major challenges that affect sesame production and productivity in northwest Ethiopia. Observations also show that farmers and agricultural experts’ do have a knowledge gap in identifying sesame pests and diseases and applying recommended management options.

To address this demanding problem, Gondar Agricultural Research Center (GARC) in collaboration with BENEFIT-SBN and Metema offices of agriculture organised a practical training session on sesame pest and disease control at two investor farmers field at Metema woreda Delelo sesame production area. The training was conducted on the 1st of October 2016.

A total of 68 investor farmers, mangers of investor farms (locally called ‘Kobraris’), experts from investor farms and Metema woreda agricultural experts participated on the practical training. Meanwhile, participants of the training visited ‘20 steps’ sesame field planted using tractor mounted modern row planter.

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Practical training at the field

The objective of the training was to increase farmers’ awareness on improved sesame pest and disease control and management options.

After the practical training and the visit of demonstration plots, discussions were held. Participants forwarded expressed their concern on the high cost of applying ‘20 Steps’. They wanted to see the harvest and how much yield obtained. Explanation was given for these and other questions raised by GARC and BENEFIT-SBN professionals. Some participants explained their readiness to try the ’20 steps’ on their field for the next production season.

Feedbacks from participants

After visiting the demonstration plot in which sesame is planted employing the ‘20 Steps’, investor farmers give their feedback as follows:

“I saw this kind of very interesting sesame field before 12 years when I was planting sesame on a virgin land” said Mr. Sahl, Sadike an investor farmer from Delelo area.

Mr. Issa Hassen is also an investor farmer at Delelo sesame production area, Metema woreda.

He said: “Sesame pest and diseases are very dynamic in our area. We have limited knowledge on this issue. This kind of practical training increases our awareness on identification of sesame pest and diseases and management options”.

Mr. Abay Mengeste Metema woreda deputy administrator, appreciated what he has seen during the visit. He said investor farmers always put availability and accessibility of farm machinery as challenges to apply recommended sesame technologies. Such kind of demonstration gives answer to investor farmers’ demand. “I hope next year more hectare of land will be covered with the recommended improved sesame technologies” said Mr. Abay.

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By Sesame Business Network, Gondar-Ethiopia