Sesame seed producer farmers receive training
20 members of Workamba Seed Producer Cooperative from Kokit Kebele, Metema woreda receive training on quality seed production and post-harvest handling techniques, seed marketing, and cooperative organisation management on the 14th of June 2018 at Gendewuha town.
The training was jointly organised by the two BENEFIT sister programmes- Benefit-SBN and Integrated Seed Sector Development- ISSD- Amhara.
In the upcoming production season the cooperative plan to cover six hectares of land with sesame in cluster farming. Gondar Agricultural Research Centre (GARC) will support the cooperative in planting the sesame using a modern row planter.
After the training participant farmers expressed their concern about their persisting problem of sesame marketing. They said attention needs to be given not only for sesame production but also for marketing. In the past, these farmers produced quality seed in their individual farms but did not find better markets for their produce. They said they sold their quality sesame seed produce as grain.
To facilitate marketing of their produce, it was suggested that the cooperative need to have the Certificate of Competence (CoC) from the concerned regional authority. This will allow the cooperative to get better markets for its quality seed production.
Workamba, which is the only sesame seed producer cooperative in Metema Woreda, can be a sesame seed source for Kokit-kebele farmers. The cooperative has 43 members.
Feedback from farmers
Mr. Afrasha Demese, 62 Kokit Kebele is one of the founders of Workamba Seed Producer Cooperative. He is producing sesame, cotton, sorghum and teff. He said the training will help improve his and his fellow farmers’ practice. He added; “we rented six hectares and we are thinking to be productive by following a cluster farming approach. The training will support us to do our work better. We have been trained before but it is good to have additional training. We will apply the improved technologies and try to get better results.”
Mrs Zewdetesfa Birrara, is one of the four female farmers in the training. She has been a member of the cooperative ever since it starts its function two years ago. She said she has not yet produced quality seed so far but this year she will produce quality sesame seed with other members of the cooperative. She is very happy with the training. She said: “The training is very nice. It focuses on quality sesame seed production techniques such as row planting, fertilizer application, weeding etc. We have also learnt about seed marketing and marketing channels and cooperatives. We will try to produce by applying the improved production techniques that we have learnt. I have been trained before by Woreda Office of Agriculture. The rate of fertilizer application I have learnt before and now is different. We are trained not to use the white fertilizer (that is DAP) this time.”