Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation (WCDI) Director, Hedwig Bruggeman visited BENEFIT-SBN programme in Humera area on Sep 3-4, 2019. She was accompanied by Irene Koomen, BENEFIT Coordinator (WUR), BENEFIT PCU staff, research center experts, BoA experts, Subject Matter Specialists, Development Agents and farmers. The main objective of her visit was to see one of BENEFIT programme performance and collaboration in its final implementation year and to better understand the programme to inform BENEFIT II project design.
The team visited a number of initiatives in Tigray and Amhara regions. Namely,
- Dansha area home garden activity on use of organic fertilizer application;
- Adebay cluster farming approach (87 farmers) for better access to extension system (human resource), row planter, market and farm management;
- Mebale multipurpose primary cooperative to see the result of capacity development activities in agronomy and financial literacy;
- Meherab Arachio Woreda Farmers’ Training Center (FTC) where BENEFIT-SBN has been providing technical support (coaching of DAs);
- Delelign commercial farm which is a private farm where BENEFIT-SBN demonstrate rotational crops for environmental sustainability;
- Meherab Aramchio Agricultural Research Center seed multiplication site. A collaborative effort between BENEFIT-ISSD and BENEFIT-SBN where ISSD works to strengthen seed cooperative management and marketing skill.
- Hiwot mechanization farm where implantation of rotational crops is implemented;
- Rawyna seed production center; and
- A farmer using 20 step approach.
At the end of the meeting Hedwig appreciated the success achieved so far, the strong collaboration among stakeholders, and the use of different approaches to meet the different needs of the community. It was also encouraging to see some of the approaches are already being institutionalized and becoming agenda items at high level discussion forums.
Overall, the visit was valuable to appreciate the successes achieved, better understand challenges that slow down progress and encourage the team to think next steps and game changer for the sesame sector, for the next phase of BENEFIT.