BENEFIT programmes organise field visit

BENEFIT programmes-ISSD, CASCAPE and Benefit-SBN in collaboration with Western Tigray Zone Bureau of Agriculture and Humera Agricultural Research Center (HuARC) organised field day from the 29th-30th of September 2018.

In attendance were over 200 individuals including farmers, agricultural professionals, researchers and government officials. The field day was conducted in Kafta Humera and Asgede Tsimbla woredas

In the first day, participants visited a farmer training center at Bereket kebele, where the aforementioned three programmes conducted different activities such as Participatory Varietal Selection (PVS) for the selection and testing of improved and better performing sorghum varieties; demonstration of improved sesame and rotation crops such as mung bean, soya bean and sorghum. Visitor farmers appreciated the sorghum and sesame varieties.

Next, participants went to Central kebele and visited Mr. Tewolde Haile’s farm. With the support of Benefit-SBN, Mr. Tewolde planted sesame, cotton, sorghum and mung bean in 20 hectares of land using improved production techniques. He also planted sesame in 150 hectares of land using the improved production package.

After this visit participants headed to two farmers fields where the three programmes run a fertilizer trial. These fields helped farmers compare the sesame planted with and without fertiliser.

In the afternoon, participants come together in HuARC’s hall and discussed with professionals. Attendees raised the challenges they have faced during the production season. Among the major challenges were pest and disease infestation, inaccessibility of sesame row planter; marketing and post-harvest handling problem of mung bean.

The second day of the field visit was held in Asgede Tsimbla woreda and it was largely on sorghum. Some selected farmers visited the PVS conducted in farmers plots for the selection of sorghum varieties at Dedebit and Hintsatse kebeles.

Some of the plots in Dedebit kebele were not as such successful. Planting time, inappropriate placement of the trial, poor farm management were among the reasons mentioned for the poor performance of the different sorghum varieties during the discussions.

Farmers also visited Dedebit and Hintsatse farmer training centers, where different improved sesame and sorghum varieties were planted using improved production packages. This activity is mainly done to help the surrounding community to compare and choose better performing variety for their areas.

The discussion was held in Hintsatse farmer training center. Shortage of inputs such as improved seed varieties and chemicals for pest and disease control and unavailability of row planter are among the major problems farmers raised during discussion.

In the end, Mr. Fiseha Bezabih, deputy head of Tigray BoA said that government has been trying to meet the various challenges in the sector. He emphasised on the importance of stakeholders and partners joint action in addressing the major challenges of the agriculture sector.