Resilience project conducted lentils demonstration field day to expose farmers and experts to improved management practices of lentils, learn about the performance of new varieties and create awareness for improving the extension service on the commodity.
Zonal level key officials and experts attended the field day. They have promised to create enabling environment for promoting and scaling up the experience as well as continue the adaptation trial in close collaboration with research centres on the commodity.
Observing the lentils on farmers’ training centre (FTC) and farmers’ fields, the visitors from four woredas of North Wollo and North Showa zones learnt about the unique characteristics of the four lentils varieties including the local cultivar. The farmers learnt the benefit of allocating fertile land and good farm management to produce export standard lentils.
Although lentils is an inclusive, nutritious and resilient value chain selected in North Shoa and North Wollo Zones, its production and productivity potential is limited due to poor management practices, limited awareness and access to quality improved seeds.
To develop the value chain, Livelihoods for Resilience Activity (GRAD II) project, in partnership with Debre-Berhan Agricultural Research Institute, North Shoa zone Department of Agriculture, woreda offices of agriculture and kebele experts, conducted demonstration at FTCs on four lentils varieties: Alemaya, Derso (Derahe), Jiru and local variety.
SNV provides technical assistance in the selection of climate resilient crop and livestock value chains and promotion of improved technologies and practices to enhance PSNP farmers’ resilience to the effects of climate change.
“Lentils is rich in nutrition. The participation of farmers in the production of nutrition sensitive value chains will enhance household nutrition security’’ said Demelash Seifu, Pulse and Cereals Advisor, SNV Ethiopia. Even in the absence of improved production technology, the farmers said, lentils is one of the crops which generate income for productive safety net programme households.
A farmer from North Wollo said, “We do not allocate fertile land for producing lentils. I have learnt the benefit of applying good agricultural practices and proper inputs for lentils production.” Farmers who have applied improved agricultural practices have produced more, according to North Shoa zone, Menz Gera woreda Offcie of Agriculture. The woreda is facilitating market linkage for the farmers.
The experts have asked SNV to share the final result of the demonstration while farmers asked to improve access to seed to see the performance for the next season. North Shoa zone Bureau of Finance and Economic Cooperation representative, Getu Mengist, said farmers should apply good agricultural practices and produce export standard commodities to contribute to the country’s economy. He added, “We will share SNV’s experience on stakeholder integration meeting that is conducted every quarter.”
The Resilience project
Livelihoods for Resilience Activity (GRAD II) project aims to enable 97,900 chronically food insecure households to graduate from the productive safety net programme (PSNP) with resilience in Amhara, Tigray and Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples national regional states. In Amhara region, it is implemented in partnership with Organisation for Rehabilitation and Development in Amhara (ORDA).
PSNP households are affected by land degradation and climate change. In addition, the income limitation coupled with unimproved production system led the households to low productivity and poor quality produce resulting in poor market access. Due to this the households remain poor, food insecure and vulnerable to shocks.
GRAD II project is working to reduce food insecurity and increasing resilience for households in partnership with ORDA, care, REST, Agri-service Ethiopia with funding from USAID. The project is implemented in 27 woredas of Amhara, Southern Nations Nationalities and peoples region and Tigray national regions of Ethiopia. The project is implemented in seven woredas of Amhara region.