Seed producer farmers experience sharing visit

Benefit-SBN and ISSD Amhara unit jointly organised experience sharing visit for sesame seed producer farmers from Workamba Seed Producers Cooperative (SPC), Metema woreda on the 21st of August 2018. The experience sharing visit was organised to help farmers’ learn from best-performing seed producers cooperatives through observation and interaction. Accordingly, 10 farmers (of which four are women) and two agricultural experts from Metema Woreda  Office of Agriculture visited Ras-Gaynt Seed Producer Cooperative which is found in Lay-Gaynt woreda, South Gondar

Participants visited a clustered farm field of Ras-guna SPC plc., member farmers and the cooperative’s store and offices. The cooperative management and owner farmers of the visited farms explained to the visitors about the different activities that they are doing.

During this visit, the team interacted with members of Ras-guna SPC, staff members of Debretabor university, and Lay-gaynt woreda agriculture office professionals. This enabled them to know more about seed production and marketing concepts.

Members of Workamba SPC raised and discussed on the major challenges that they face such as difficulties in convincing farmers with adjacent fields to be a member of their cooperative; farmers failure to apply full recommendations; changing farmers attitude about seed production and grain production; limited awareness on seed quality management and seed marketing etc. The hosting SPC management and Debertabor University staff members suggested on how they managed those issues in their cooperative.

The visiting team appreciated the works of Ras-guna SPC and they said they would also adopt some of the techniques that they have seen. They especially appreciated the commitment of farmers, clustering adjacent farms, monitoring, database management, field management techniques for seed production, farmers attention for agronomic activities and the strong relationship and trust between members and the management etc.

Mr. Wondimu Tadesse is the head of Workamba SPC. He said he has learned a lot of things from the visit. “I learned a lot from the structure of the cooperative, their storage practices and seed value addition efforts of the cooperative.” He added: “It is fascinating and we have learned a lot from the visit. We can take home cluster farming, storage techniques that they use to maintain quality and value addition practices we have learned from the visit.”

The experience sharing visit is organised by Benefit-SBN and ISSD Amhara unit as part of the joint activity to strengthen the seed supply system through the establishment of farmer’s seed producers cooperatives that could supply improved and quality seed and benefit from the business.