Scaling-up of Agro-ecology Practices – PELUM Ethiopia
ISD is working with farming communities in different regions of the country on promoting organic agriculture and environmental protection. It is not about producing much and mono cropping, it is about diversity and sustainability. It is also about human health which is related to nutrition from diversified agriculture production.
ISD is engaged in South Wollo zone (4 weredas) to promote agro-ecological farming practices and systems and practices and systems and included is Boru-Sillassie community of Ambasel wereda for indigenous seeds varieties of restoration and preservation. It also provides trainings on compost making and use where farmers will recycle wastes and reuse them in their production processes.
Similarly ISD is implementing Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) imitative with comprehensive approach ranging from extension service to adoption and adaptation of technologies in some 6 weredas including in Atsbi wonberta woreda. The interventions, among others, cover the highland fruit trees development by integrated farming practices and systems.
The wide and successful implementation capacity of ISD has also attracted PELUM Ethiopia to establish working relation for scaling up highland fruit trees by integrated farming practices and systems in Ruba- feleg Kebeles smallholder farmers in Atsbi wonberta woreda, Tigray region.
In Ruba-feleg kebelle of Atsbi-Wonberta wereda different highland fruit trees like more than two varieties of apple, Fuji, Almonds and plum grow well. Highland fruit crops have indispensable benefits for farmers in terms of income generating and quality nutritional supplying for family consumption. However, farmers of the Kebele have not gained enough benefits as needed due to the following reasons.
• Poor field management practices
• Lack of planting materials [shortage of grafted seedling (apple scion and rootstock )]
• Low Technical skill of farmers
• Pest and disease
• Theft and rooting out of the planted seedlings
• Expansion of Eucalyptus tree around farm plots
• Use of high inputs by farmers( chemical insecticide)
• Low skill and awareness on using small scale irrigation
• Marketing problems
In 2018, ISD, supported by PELUM Ethiopia, has been responding to minimize the challenges of the communities by promoting diversification of products and increase yields by integrating farming practices and systems.
Main Activities and Achievements
In Amhara Region
v In project launching workshop, stakeholders participated in detailed planning and have increased the understanding of what the project involves and how this could be achieved.
v In South Wollo, farmers restored identified gully land to prevent soil erosion, and on the improved practice of protecting soil erosion.
v In South Wollo, Farmers who implement integrated farming practices harvested 2 times a year by advancing soil fertility and improving of animal production.
v Double up the production and productivity of 10 farmers, through proper land management and planting of multipurpose locally tried and proven fruits, fodder, crops and vegetables all together.
v 5 farmers started establishing their own fruit nursery sites, will supply grafted seedlings in the locality and thereby generate income in the next 2 – 4 years.