Smallholder farmers are keys to food security in Ethiopia where majority of the population depend on rain-fed small-scale farming as their main source of food and income. Critical farming and household decisions depend upon the weather; for example, how much rain falls, the length and start date of the rainfall season and the timing of dry spells. Such aspects of the weather vary considerably from year to year. The Participatory Integrated Climate Services for Agriculture (PICSA) approach aims to facilitate farmers to make informed decisions based on accurate, location specific, climate and weather information; locally relevant crop, livestock and livelihood options; and with the use of participatory tools to aid their decision making.
ISD’s programs and projects are exactly matched with the above PICSA objective. Specifically ISD is to contribute to the overall improvement of food security and well-being of smallholder farmers, especially women & youth groups in some districts in Ethiopia through improving cereal-livestock production by implementing integrated technologies for the management of parasitic weeds, insect pests, soil fertility & promoting the production of high value animal fodder.
The organization’s focus is on integrating ecological organic agriculture into local agricultural systems, in order to benefit target groups and the local biodiversity and environment. A parallel focus is on building the capacity of smallholder farmers to cycle nutrients, conserve soil and water, reduce the need for chemical fertilizers, and diversifying their production base which could improve their food security. In 2018 ISD carried out the planned activities that follow with PISCCA support.
The Project Title is Supporting Research with Ethiopian Smallholder Farmers for Agro-ecologically Intensifying Production of Maize and Sorghum with companion grass and legumes to control pests and provide quality animal feed for improved and healthy livelihoods that also build capacity to adapt to climate change.
The project targeted 69 farmers & 3 FTCs that are implementing Push & Pull Technology (PPT).
- Farmer-Researcher Platform establishment
- Push-pull technology dissemination
- Organic fertilizer applications
- Animal feed
- Broadening income streams of smallholders
- Pre and post activities assessment
Training has been conducted in May 2018, at 3 districts. Participants were farmer representatives, Zone Department of Agriculture and Natural Resource, Department of Livestock and Fisheries Zonal Plant Quarantine Office, Local authorities, Kebele managers
Bio- gas Building Materials Purchased
Bio gas building material such as sand and cement purchased and then distributed for 49 (7F) smallholder farmers of Dejen and Gozamen weredas, Debre markos zone.
Annual Evaluation Workshops Conducted
A total of 143 (25F) participants from Gozamene woreda farmer’s, kebele and woreda DA’s, Dejen kebele farmer’s and kebele DA’s and city administrators, Motta farmers and the kebele DA’s and city administrators, F.selam/ Jimmat kebele DA’s, Misrak Gojam zone administrators, D/markos university participants, administrators and the project researchers attended the annual workshop. An evaluation team has evaluated what have been implemented and put a way forward. In addition the research team has tried to address more farmers and these farmers are working on assuring the continuity and influencing the government to own the technology for sustainability of the extension service. Moreover push-pull technology strategy for managing cereal stem borers has been discussed in the workshop.