Farmers compare the different components of the improved sesame package

Nearly 50 farmers from Tach Armachiho Woreda evaluated the sesame experiment fields and compared the different components of the improved sesame production package (20 steps) in the farmer training centre (FTC) at Sanja on the 26th of August 2018.

Farmers visited the experiment fields in five small groups- each comprised eight members. Different groups compared the experiments by having a look at the performance of the sesame plot and reading the tag- which explained the type of treatment (seed variety, with or without fertilizer application; row or broadcast sowing; with or without thinning etc.)

During the visit, farmers were seen while giving their utmost attention to the fields and discuss with their fellows.

Unlike the conventional field days, which is dominated by professionals preaching, this method helped farmers to get involved, reflect and learn about the different stages of the 20 Steps improved sesame production technologies.

Dasash Fentahun, a women farmer from Sanja 01 kebele said: “During the visit, I was able to evaluate the different components of the sesame production package. I tried to compare the different plots and I have learned how fertilizer boost sesame productivity. I also realised the importance of thinning and its contribution for optimum plant population establishment. I am really convinced and ready to apply the package for next season.”

With regard to the field day organisation method, Mr. Yemer Asefa from Tach Armachiho Woreda Sanja kebele Agriculture Office head had the following to say: “I appreciate what SBN has been doing in the kebele. The participatory evaluation we did today would help us convince farmers of the advantage of the sesame technology package and accelerate adoption. I have seen that the full package and those treatments with fertiliser were preferred by farmers during the evaluation. Now it is the flowering stage of the sesame plant. We will also organise a similar event at the maturity stage of the crop.”

The selected sesame farmers visited model farmers’ fields, Sanja FTC and Gondar Agricultural Research Center (GARC) testing stations.

The field visit was organised jointly by Tach Armaciho woreda agriculture office, GARC, Benefit-SBN with the aim of sharing experiences and progress of sesame and rotation crops research, demonstration and scaling up activities.

The feedback from visitor farmers will be considered in doing the analysis of the experiment.