By Moti Jaleta/CIMMYT
Farmers showcased the benefits of conservation agriculture in retaining soil moisture, reducing erosion and improving organic matter during field demonstrations in Ethiopia last week. The demonstrations were hosted by the Conservation Agriculture and Smallholder Farmers in Eastern and Southern Africa (CASFESA) project in Jabitehnan and South Achefer Districts.
The project, which is funded by the European Union International Fund for Agricultural Development, aims in part to show that conservation agriculture is sustainable and profitable, through demonstrations in randomly-selected villages in several African countries. Each conservation agriculture demonstration plot in 28 villages was visited by neighboring farmers in the last two months, raising awareness about the technology. The farmers’ field day and endof- season field evaluation were held during 9-10 November for farmers hosting conservation agriculture demonstrations, as well as extension and development agents in the demonstration villages and researchers from CIMMYT and the Amhara Regional Agricultural Research Institute. Other attending included delegates from the Amhara Region Bureau of Agriculture, Amhara Seed Enterprise, Merkeb Multipurpose Marketing Cooperative Union, the Jabitehnan and South Achefer District Office of Agriculture and the West Gojjam Zone Administration and Agriculture Office.