Putting hillas- stacked sesame together

Putting staked sesame (commonly called as hillas in Amharic) upright for drying (see the picture),  will help reduce the post-harvest losses, the labour cost, and contributes to improving the quality of sesame. This practice is one of the recommendations in the 20 important steps to double yield and to improving the quality of sesame package.

Farmers at Lemlem kebele, who were exemplary in applying cluster farming- using the improved sesame production package in their adjacent fields, have continued to apply suggested recommendations. They put their hills together.

Benefit-SBN have organised field day during the early stage of the sesame production, to show farmers and agricultural professionals how the farmers in the kebele have applied improved practices in their adjacent fields. Again, October 18, 2018, Benefit-SBN has organised another field day in the same kebele, this time, to show farmers and professionals from other woredas the hillas put together by farmers.

40 farmers and agricultural experts drawn from Metema, Quara and Tach Armachiho woredas participated in the field day. Participants visited three different cluster farms. One of the owners of the visited farmers explained to participants the benefits of putting hillastogether and the 20 steps he employed in his farm. Participants also added their experience in hilla gathering and putting a plastic sheet under the hilla.

Mr. Ashenafi, a model farmer from Tach Armachiho woreda, has shared his experience of using a plastic sheet to erect the harvested sesame on plastic sheets for drying the sesame. He said: “ I have been using plastic sheets for hilla drying for the last couple of years. I started to use this practice after I have seen the demonstration by SBN support programme.” Mr. Ashenafi added: “I collected up to 60 kg sesame from the plastic sheet. Compared to the amount of loss it will not be costly to apply plastic sheet.”

In both field days- the first organised at the early stage and now, farmers appreciated the support of kebele development agents. They followed the suggestion of the professionals and attribute their success to the support of the development agents.

The field day helped farmers as a platform to discuss on issues such as the use of plastic sheet under the hilla, support of the kebele development agents to apply technology,  the cost of applying new technology and the scalability of the technology.