BENEFIT-ISSD Oromia East facilitated regional seed core group meeting

BENEFIT ISSD Oromia East Project unit organized one-day Regional Core Group meeting at Haramaya University on May 8, 2017. A total of 10 representatives from zone department of Agricultrure (DoA), Zone Cooperatives Depatment, Universities, research Centers, NGOs, and unions have participated.

The objective of the workshop is;
•    To discuss on achievements and challenges of ISSD in 2016
•    To evaluate performance of partners and implementation of  pilot innovation projects and scaling LSB in 2016
•    To put way forward for 2017 intervention of LSBS and seed value chains (SVC)
The welcoming speech was made by Mr. Wondwosen Woldoyes. He welcomed the participants and briefed objectives of the workshop. In his opening speech, he made a remark for more collaboration to address seed value chain challenges in east and west Hararghe zones.

During morning sessions, two different plenary presentations have taken place. In the beginning, Mr. Habtamu Diriba presented about ISSD achievements and challenges. His presentation session covers LSB, SVC and informal seed system achievements and challenges in 2016, opportunities and way forward for 2017. Following that, three plenary presentations made by three partners (HU-Research and extension office, Fadis Agricultural research Centre and Afran Kallo union) respectively. These sessions mainly covered assessment reports of piloting innovations projects, achievements of piloting SVC, scaling LSBs development (success, achievements, and challenges) in 2016. Generally speaking, the workshop goes through informative and inclusive way as it included warm discussions and reflections. It gave a chance for the participants to raise ideas in the assessment report of piloting projects and LSB achievements and enrich the implementation strategies.

In the afternoon, the overall discussions and reflections have taken place.  This session has facilitated by  Mr Wondwosen Woldoyes and prof Nigussie Dechassa, Chairman of east (Oromia) seed core group and deputy head of west Hararghe zone BOA and scientific coordinator for ISSD Oromia (east) and Haramaya University vice president for Academic Affairs, respectively.  Among many questions, issues, and comments raised the following were hit the roof during the day event;
•    Weak Linkage between partners (zonal and Woreda BOA, cooperatives) and seed producers
•    Seed marketing problem (seed produced in the region was not sold). Many organizations bring seed from outside the region. They do not know even seed produced by cooperatives
•    Budget utilization as per agreed MOU and challenges encountered during implementation period-some partners were not utilized budget as per commitment they made.
•    Weak extension system-improved variety popularization, promotion etc
•    Agro-ecology based farmers top preferred varieties identification and application should be given attention
•    Establishment of Haramaya University seed regulatory body need special attention (who fulfills infrastructure, office, vehicle, etc)
•    Entrepreneurship spirits of the seed producers cooperative are very low.
•    Lack of cooperatives to own competency certificate (COC), this is due to lack of resources SPC owns (human and infrastructural resource)

During this session, Prof Nigussie also reflected some key points to enhance seed sector development such as why locally produced seed not sold, why partners do not perform as agreed MOU, how cooperatives can access COC, how we can enhance production of EGS, etc.

In the closing of regional seed core group meeting, Mr. Wondwosen Woldoyes, has strongly addressed the stakeholder’s active involvement to sustainably bring the possible way out of the challenges during the implementation of the projects. He finalized the days’ activities with key points and future actions among seed value chain collaborators and closed the workshop.

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