Participatory Variety Selection to meet the seed challenge

In an effort to avail different types of improved varieties of sesame and soya bean, Benefit-SBN in conjunction with GARC has started to conduct Crowdsourcing and Participatory Variety Selection activities in selected kebeles at Metema woreda.

Training sessions were organised at two levels at the end of June 2019. First 12 participants drawn from Metema Woreda Agriculture Office, SBN focal person and kebele level development agents and data enumerators were trained on preparations, project design, selection of participants, running of trials, collecting data using observation cards and data compilation.

Similarly in the second day of the training, 143 (80 for soybean and 63 for sesame) participating farmers were trained on how to conduct the trail. The training mainly focused on site selection, plot arrangement, planting method, field observation and data exchange with enumerators.

During the training farmers themselves developed evaluation criteria for the varieties.

Each farmer received three varieties to plant and will observe the characteristics of the varieties and select the best and worst based on the common set criteria.

Finally the data will be analysed by researchers and the best variety of the kebele will be identified.

These activities will not only help enhance the dissemination of varieties but they also play a role in linking farmers with agricultural researchers.