InnovAfrica launched its activities in Ethiopia from 21-24 August 2017. The meeting, which took place at Haramaya University, involved researchers, academics, farmers, non-governmental organizations representatives and private sector players from the two project sites —Kombolcha and Meta districts of Oromia region in Ethiopia.
The four-day meeting was organized by Prof Nigussie Dechassa, Haramaya University’s vice-president for research affairs and InnovAfrica Ethiopia country coordinator. Discussions revolved around the main agriculture constraints faced in the region (poor market access,poor water harvesting technologies, lack of quality seeds, need for improved livestock breeds, prevalence of pests and disease and malnutrition); the potential innovative technologies to tackle these challenges; and institutional and policy approaches that can address the constraints in the coming years.
Among the innovative extension approaches to be scaled up by the InnovAfrica Ethiopia team is the Performance Improvement Planning (PIP) approach to helping farmers translate their vision into an integrated farm plan. The project team will also tap into the wealth of knowledge and experiences from the farmers in the Oromia region and beyond—e.g. local knowledge on water harvesting. This information will be transferred to farmers and applied across the project sites through farmer to farmer exchange, demonstrations and experience-sharing visits within the Oromia region.