Africa RISING: crop-livestock research in Ethiopia

October 17, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New faba bean varieties being scaled out in Ethiopia: better nutrition, higher income, and more fodder for livestock

ICARDA is playing a key role in new projects funded by the USAID Feed the Future Initiative, aiming to diversify crop-livestock systems in Ethiopia’s Bale highlands and elsewhere in Africa.

One Africa RISING project, implemented jointly by the Ethiopian Institute for Agricultural Research (EIAR) and ICARDA, is introducing improved varieties of faba bean, field pea, lentil and chickpea into traditional mixed farming systems. Nearly 350 pilot farmers in Sinana and Gasara districts are growing the new varieties. The project has also trained extension staff from five districts in tillage and crop management practices.

Project partners include Farm Africa, Agarfa and Sinana Agricultural Research Centres, and district- and zone-level agricultural offices. The project integrates multiple components: high-yielding, adapted varieties, crop management, integrated pest and disease management, seed production, storage and distribution systems, and training for farmers and extension staff.

Another Africa RISING project aims to develop technologies for livestock intensification in crop-livestock systems in Arsi, Bale and Horo Gudru Welega. The partners include EIAR, the Oromia Regional Agricultural Research Institute, Kulumsa, Sinana and Bako Agricultural Research Centers, ILRI and ICARDA.

Diagnostic studies have been completed in all target areas, to characterize farm households, identify constraints and potential solutions, and better understand livestock value chains. Farmers report that feed shortages are a major constraint. Several ICARDA technologies, successful in other countries, might provide solutions. These include crop residue management, introduction of fodder/forage crops, and improved feed formulations.

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