Field day organized to boost the support of key stakeholders in sesame production

On September 17th, 2018, BENEFIT-SBN in collaboration with Gondar Agricultural Research Center (GARC), Central Gondar Zone Department of Agriculture and Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) organized a field day to showcase scaling up activities of improved sesame and rotation production technologies conducted in the 2018 production season. Close to 400 people, including higher-level government officials from federal to woreda level and sesame farmers in Tach Armachiho and Tegede woredas attended the event.

The field day was a great opportunity to see the results of the collaboration effort on 240 hectares of land, where sesame yield doubled and tripled through applying improved production technology.  It was noted that, while using traditional practice brings 2-4 quintals per hectare, the new improved sesame and rotation production technology showed the possibility of harvesting more than eight quintals of sesame per hectare. The participants also visited soya bean production in small-scale and large-scale farms and discussed challenges and way forward on both crops.

In recognition of the zonal effort in the sesame sector, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Resource (MoALR) awarded two sesame harvesting machines to GARC. Read more

BENEFIT-Partnership: Results of the mid-term evaluation

BENEFIT Partnership conducted a mid-term review to assess the relevance, effectiveness and sustainability of the current BENEFIT Partnership.  In general, the evaluation shows that the four BENEFIT programmes (ISSD, CASCAPE, ENTAG and SBN) are on track to achieve most of their end targets and the results in terms of reach and creating an enabling environment are likely to exceed the original expectations. At the same time, the management of the partnership has been more complex than expected and collaboration on the ground is still relatively small compared to the full scope of the individual programmes. You can find summary of the MTR findings here.


Dairy Business Information Service and Support (DairyBISS) Business Plan Competition

As part of BENEFIT (Bilateral Ethiopia Netherlands Effort for Food, Income and Trade), Dairy Business Information Service and Support (DairyBISS) project is organizing a Business Plan Competition for dairy advisors who are working as consultant/ freelance in Ethiopia dairy sector.

The business plan completion is prepared to encourage those trained in DairyBISS advisor training programs and freelance consultants to innovate business cases that could address systemic challenges of the commercial dairy sector to achieve high and consistent performance in their business; and create linkage between dairy advisors and potential dairy business and market to translate these innovative ideas into reality.

For more information and to apply click here

BENEFIT-ISSD provided training to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of seed quality control

BENEFIT–ISSD Ethiopia programme organized a training for seed inspectors & lab technicians from Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Resources (MoALR) on “Seed quality control techniques and principles”, on August 8-9, 2018 at Pyramid Resort Hotel, Bishoftu, Ethiopia. The training was organized by BENEFIT-ISSD-PMU, based on the training need assessments conducted in collaboration with the MoALR Plant Variety Release, Protection and Seed Quality Control Directorate. Overall, the training was a success in strengthening the implementation capacity of seed inspectors and lab technicians for efficient and effective seed control system that is essential to reduce seed rejection rate, minimize complaint of farmers’ about poor quality seed and increase farmers and genuine seed suppliers’ satisfaction.

The first day training covered topics on seed analysis, germination and moisture tests. The second day was devoted to field level learning and exercise on seed quality control methods and principles both for cross-pollinated and self-pollinated crops and on the use of control plots in seed quality verification of agronomic crops. Group discussions were conducted to ensure the participants understood clearly the concepts presented and to enable them to relate the theories they learned with the practice they can apply in their day to day activities.

The training was very much appreciated by the 29 (26 male and 3 female) seed inspectors and lab technicians drawn from Oromia region (13), Amhara region (12) and Southern Nation Nationalities and Peoples regions (4)  participated in the training program.

BENEFIT Partnership launched new programme (BENEFIT-REALISE) to reach the chronic poor in Ethiopia

BENEFIT Partnership officially launched new BENEFIT-REALISE programme – Realising Sustainable Agricultural Livelihood Security in Ethiopia on August 24, 2018. The launching ceremony was officiated by the State Minister for Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Resources (MoALR) H.E. Dr. Eyasu Abraha, and Mr. Thijs Woudstra, Head of Development Cooperation, Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands (EKN) at Addis Ababa.  The three year programme aims to contribute to sustainable livelihoods through the introduction of improved farming practices, innovations and social experiments to strengthen the current Productive Safely Net Progamme (PSNP) in Ethiopia. The launching event was attended by over 50 participants representing government offices, implementing partners (universities), Agricultural Research Centers (ARCs), NGOs, WUR and BENEFIT Staff and the media.

Leveraging the last 7-8 experiences of BENEFIT-CASCAPE (Capacity building for Scaling up of evidence-based Practices in Agricultural Production) and BENEFIT-ISSD (Integrated Seed Sector Development), BENFIT-REALISE will validate Best Fit Practices, adapt and scale in PSNP woredas. Eight Ethiopian Universities are the main implementing partners (Haramaya University, Mekelle University, Hawassa University, Woldia University, Bahir Dar University, Arsi University, Arba Minch University, Oda Bultum University).  They will work closely with Wageningen University & Research (WUR) in Netherland, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Resources (MoALR), Food Security Directorate and Ethiopian Agricultural Research Institute (EARI.  The programme will cover 60 woredas in four regional states (Amhara, Tigray, Oromia and SNNPR) of Ethiopia.

Key performance indicators at outcome level include:

  • 60 best fit practices validated and ready for scaling and 90,000 farmers adopt best fit practices through extension systems in selected 60 woredas;
  • 120,000 farmers regularly use quality seed made available by seed producers in informal, intermediary and formal seed systems;
  • 250 research and extension systems staff are capacitated to match, adapt, validate and scale best fit practices; and
  • 15 presentations of evidence-based programme results well received by relevant stakeholders and discussed at national and regional stakeholder platforms.


BENEFIT-REALISE programme is funded by Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands (EKN) for a total of 8.6 Million Euro.

“REALISE working in PSNP areas is a challenge and an opportunity. It is a challenge since the project will be working with the rural poor facing chronic food insecurity who depended on aid for years.  It is an opportunity to identify innovative ways we can promote to build resilience and build assets so that more farmers can graduate from the PSNP program.” H.E. Eyasu Abraha, State Minister of MOALR

“Key to success is understanding the local context and winning the heart of the farmers since they are the executioners. The prospects are enormous and EKN is willing to continue its support through its development cooperation programme following its aid-trade-investment model.” and Mr. Thijs Woudstra, Head of Development Cooperation, Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands (EKN)

BENEFIT-REALISE grouped pics

AgriProFocus report on Wageningen University – 100 Years Event – “Access to Healthy Food in Metropolitan Cities in Africa”

On the occasion of its 100th birthday (1918-2018), the Wageningen University & Research (WUR) in The Netherlands invited its alumni around the world to organize a Worldwide Alumni Day. With the support of Ethiopian WUR alumni, The Netherlands Embassy and the WUR-‘Bilateral Ethiopian-Netherlands Effort for Food, Income and Trade (BENEFIT) Partnership’, the AgriProFocus Network in Ethiopia organized this Alumni Day on Saturday 23 June 2018 at ILRI, Addis Ababa. Since WUR has a unique understanding of the entire food chain, the central theme of the Alumni Day was ‘Access to Healthy Food in Mega Cities’.  For the detail report please refer to AgriProFocus website here.

BENEFIT Newsletter (January-June 2018)

We are pleased to share with you, BENEFIT Newsletter for January-June 2018.  In this issue, we bring you highlights of stories, updates and news about our initiatives implemented by BENEFIT Partnership that unites four programmes – ISSD, CASCAPE, ENTAG and SBN.  Some of the topics covered include BENEFIT Partnership influencing sector policies and institutional arrangements, Leveraging opportunities to empower women in Seed Producer Cooperatives (SPCs), Effective learning through strategic capacity development and cascading approach, Addressing trade barriers levied by India and Pakistan: the case of Methly-bromideScaling loan guarantees to alleviate financial constraints for sesame growersImproving collaboration in mainstreaming social inclusion and nutrition, BENEFIT-REALISE (Realizing Agricultural Livelihood Security in Ethiopia): new BENEFIT  programme reaching the chronic food insecure farmers in Ethiopia, BENEFIT-CASCPAE & ISSD collaboration for home garden intervention in Ethiopia, etc .

BENEFIT Newsletter (January-June 2018)

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