Training held on improved seed production methods

Benefit-SBN in collaboration with ISSD Amhara organized a two-day training on improved seed production techniques to 29 members of Workamba and Quara Seed Producer Cooperatives (SPCs) and three agricultural experts from the 1st -2nd of June 2019 at Gondar.

The objectives of the training are to: develop the knowledge and skills of SPC members on quality seed production, marketing and value addition; increase SPC members awareness on nutrition in general and develop their capacity to contribute for improving dietary diversity of their community; enhance members awareness on gender mainstreaming.

The major topics covered during the training are seed production techniques, seed marketing, value addition, nutrition and gender mainstreaming. The current seed regulation of the region was presented and discussed.

The unavailability and inaccessibility of basic seed, the challenge of Workamba SPC for getting certificate for the produced seed, seed marketing problem were among the major challenges raised and discussed after the training sessions.

A senior staff from Central Gondar zone Seed Quarantine and Certification department gave explanations for some of the questions and concerns raised. He informed participants about the criteria that the SPCs need to fulfil to get certificate. He mentioned that the SPCs need to have their own laboratory, seed cleaning machine, agricultural implements such as tractor. They also need to know the source of the seed, history of the land. What is more SPCs need to employ an agronomist etc. He also highlighted on the current rules and regulations of seed.

Members of the Workamba SPC felt that the criteria did not take the realities at the ground and they demanded the support of Benefit-SBN and other bodies for strengthening their cooperative.

The representatives from the two SPCs highlighted their production plan for the 2019 season. The SPC from Quara will work to get the legal certification from the respective office.

Benefit-SBN with relevant stakeholders will follow up their activities and provide coaching and technical back stopping during the production season.

Miss Agere Teka, an agronomist from Quara woreda Bambaho kebele agriculture office said “Member farmers reached 33, at present cooperative members have already done farm area clustering and land preparation. The training is very helpful and enable us to acquire basic seed production techniques. The story from Workamba SPC is inspiring and we have learnt from their experience.” She said unavailability and inaccessibility of basic seed is a major problem. The support from GARC and other relevant stakeholders should continue.