Wondimu Tesfaye, currently an innovator team member of the Jimma University, successfully defended his M.Sc thesis in May this year titled: "Determinants of Technical Efficiency in Maize Production the case of Smallholder Farmers in Dhidhessa District of South West Ethiopia".
He thanks the whole CASCAPE team for their support and encouragement. As a result of his hard work he will present his work during the International conference of Ethiopian Economic Association in Addis Ababa, and the International Conference on Integrated Agriculture for Food Security and Adaptation to Climate Change in Ambo University.
As part of the celebrations for the 95th anniversary of the foundation of Wageningen University, various activities have been organised for alumni to take place this year. For international alumni, ten meetings with the theme food security have been scheduled around the world. The first meeting was held on Tuesday 26 March in Ethiopia, with the specific theme ‘reduction of post harvest losses’. Thirty alumni gathered together in the head office of the African Union in Addis Ababa.
The CASCAPE project was mentioned as one of the initiatives which can be used to start up new initiatives in Ethiopia. For Wageningen University the rector magnificus Martin Kropff was present and he also closed the official alumni meeting.
You can read more about this successful day on the website of the Wageningen University, here.
In April 2013, a workshop about "Best Practices" was held in Addis Ababa. Best Practices are proven technologies which model farmers have used to boost their productivity. The goal is to share these identified best practices with other farmers who can benefit from new insights in agricultural development.
Objectives of the workshop were:
In scaling up of best practices focal areas for technical support include raising agricultural productivity by narrowing the gap between average farm yields and those achieved by male and female model farmers through improved crop, livestock and natural resource management practices. In transforming agriculture from subsistence to market oriented production system availability of improved inputs/technologies is very crucial. Technology adoption will also be accelerated by improving input availability.
Some conclusions after the work shop were:
Increasing agricultural productivity is one thing. Assuring its sustainability in the long run and at various spatial scales is another. After one year of experience in the field time was there to share experiences during a training on Integrated Farming System Analysis (IFSA). During this training in April of this year not only experiences were shared, but also working methodologies to apply IFSA in practice were developed.
Central to the training was the assessment of trade-offs of innovations. So far the focus was on the target variable, often being crop yields or livestock performances. Yet, every intervention has intended and unintended effects. During the training the TEEB (the economics of ecosystem and biodiversity) methodology and SLF (sustainable livelihoods framework) methodologies were presented as analytical frameworks for assessing intended and unintended effects of the CASCAPE interventions.
The participants of the training made some exercises applying the methods which were presented. The methods were applied for their own region. Results of these exercises can be used in the regional working plans, and by that, will stimulate sustainable management of the sites, and being aware of possible trade-offs options.
Theories were brought to practice during a field visit to Abraha-we-Atsibeha. This award winning site is known for its successful community based interventions and ecosystem restoration. The training was finalized with a concept note on how CASCAPE is bringing practice to IFSA. Next year we will know what differences this will bring about!