BENEFIT-REALISE Program Bahir Dar University Cluster organized regional stakeholder consultative workshop at Bahir Dar

By: Assaye Tesemma

BENEFIT-REALISE Programme Bahir Dar University Cluster organized regional key stakeholders’ consultative workshop at Bahir Dar from 02-03, December 2019 at UNISON hotel.  Heads and vice heads of the ten target woredas of offices of agriculture, PSNP coordinators, zonal agriculture department heads, woreda administrators, agriculture research centre heads and extension directors, institutional advisors, vice head of Amhara Region Bureau of Agriculture, community service directors of Debre Markos, Debre Tabour and Gondar Universities and NGO managers participated in the work shop. A total of 82 individuals, 4 women, took part in the workshop.

Objectives of the workshop were:

  • To capitalize successes and propose solutions for the challenges faced during the implementation of planned activities in 2019
  • To identify areas of collaboration for layering and sequencing for selected commodity cluster in pre-scaling up for 2020
  • To ensure effective use of resources through reducing duplication of efforts and resources
  • To enable active involvement of key stakeholders for pre-scaling of commodity cluster

The consultative workshop was officially opened by the deputy head of Amhara Bureau of Agriculture, Dr. Solomon Asefa. In his speech  he noted that BENEFIT-REALISE has done, in the past one fiscal year remarkable agricultural activities in the ten programme target woredas which temporarily or permanently do not ensure their food security.  Besides, the vice bureau head remarked that validation, demonstration, pre-scale up, support, follow up and capacity building activities of the program were effective; we will work together with stakeholders through mobilizing the community and supplying with disease free improved seed varieties.

BENEFIT REALISE programme Bahir Dar University cluster manager, Dr. Almaz Giziew, in her part has presented the annual progress reports, challenges encountered and ways forward. She briefly noted that the implemented activities by the program in the ten program target woredas were participatory bread wheat variety selection (PVS), crowdsourcing of sorghum and bread wheat, validation of teff and maize, pre-scale up of malt barley and haricot bean, demonstration of improved potato, Maradol papaya, bread wheat, homestead gardening, Rhodes grass and pilot on 1000 birr bread wheat small seed pack technology.  

The cluster manager has also furtherly explained to the workshop participants that in all ten program target woredas on job and theoretical capacity building trainings provided, vegetable cooking demonstration conducted, woreda and kebele field days organized and frequent and regular follow up activities done.  The cluster manager has advised the participants that to make the program sustainable and to benefit programme target beneficiaries, higher level stakeholders should work together in a coordinated and organized manner.

Finally, the cluster manager presented the directions for next year (2020) plan. Based on the presentation of the cluster manager, the participants have forwarded their inputs which they could be able to contribute for the next year plan taking into account the existing situations of their respective woredas.

Following the cluster manager presentation, the heads and vice heads of woreda office of Agriculture presented the activities implemented in the 2020, challenges encountered in their respective woredas and next year activity plan.

Participants from Agriculture Research centres, Universities and NGOs (FHE, FC and Agri- service Ethiopia) have presented alternative and available agricultural technologies and their area of collaboration with BENEFIT-REALISE.  

The research and community service vice president of Bahir Dar University, Dr. Tesfaye Shiferaw recognized the effective and fruitful implementation of the programme, and he stress to consider new agricultural technologies, environmental compatibility and their importance to the beneficiaries. Moreover, the vice president emphasized that as the project is pilot, it should be taken over by the target woredas and its sustainability would therefore be ensured while the project is phased out.

Finally, the Regional Disaster Prevention and Food Security Coordination Office head, Mr. Amare Kindie remarked that the annual implementation of BENEFIT-REALISE programme is encouraging and shall be supported by target woredas through contributing capital budget and made a closing speech.