ISSD Amhara provided ToT on seed deployment and adaptation

BENEFIT ISSD Amhara has organized training of trainers on seed deployment and adaptation for 36 Woreda and kebele experts from the six informal seed system piloting Woredas of Amhara region on 18-20 May 2017 at Debre Tabor. The objective of the training is to train experts on ways to increase the seed choice options of farmers particularly through crowdsourcing and Participatory Variety Selection (PVS) and increase seed deployment and adaptation of available varieties.

Participants of the training are experts that are directly involved in the support of the informal seed system in their respective Woredas and kebeles. These include Woreda focal persons, kebele DAs and local development facilitators (data enumerators). Trainees are expected to provide training to selected farmers in their Woredas immediately after this training.

The training included the steps to follow in implementing crowdsourcing and PVS, practical exercise at a field on designing crowdsourcing and PVS plots and agronomic practices of selected crops for the piloting. Farmers in the Woredas have selected four crops for crowdsourcing trials: wheat, sorghum, finger millet, and Tef. Besides, selected farmers will try seven crops: sorghum, finger millet, faba bean, field pea, haricot bean, and food barely through PVS.

Crowdsourcing is a method that allows many farmers to experiment varieties of commonly selected crops in small amounts at their fields and produce organized data for the selection of best-performing varieties while in PVS fewer farmers experiment more varieties and compare their performances. Both methods involve farmers as the major players with limited support from experts. These experimentations are expected to increase the adoption and adaptation of varieties by farmers since farmers do the research themselves.

ISSD Amhara had collected 62 released varieties of eight crops from seven research institutions across the nation and four local varieties of four crops and has provided to the Woredas. A farmer will experiment at least three varieties improved and/or local in crowdsourcing. A farmer participating in PVS will also test up to eight improved varieties.

Woredas have planned to provide the trainings and select farmers for PVS before the end of May. ISSD Amhara team will continue to coach the Woredas on the training and planting of the varieties.

Besides to ISSD experts, four researchers from ARARI and a crop expert from BoA facilitated the ToT.

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