AMU – IUC Project V organized Four Day evidence-based training on sustainable solutions to challenges of Enset production and livestock feed security for 73 model farmers and stakeholders from 7 Wordas of Gamo Zone, from July 12-15, 2023.
AMU-IUC Program Manager Dr. Fasil Eshetu, in his welcoming remark, said P5 is one of the seven projects under the program and works to enhance sustainable agricultural production and productivity. He also added that within the project, three AMU staff got PhDs in Phase I and all got graduated; the other two staff members have been granted chance for PhD in the Project’s Phase II which plays a vital role in AMU staff profile development and conducting high-level research. Dr. Fasil also noted that such research-based trainings are part of our outreach programs and they play a pivotal role in demonstrating, disseminating and validating our scientific findings to the community.
Professor Yishak Kechero, AMU-IUC Project V leader, said the project focuses on enhancing livestock and crop production and productivity and sustainable land use management. He added that the training was organized to transfer best research-based practices to farmers and stakeholders to ensure sustainable Enset production and livestock feed security. He further explained that manure management and nutrient loss during storage, Enset macro propagation, Enset bacterial wilt and its management, preparation of multi-nutrient blocks, and feed conservation via fermentation were the specific topics covered in the training. Since outreach is the focus of phase II, we have planned to conduct several practical community engagement activities to disseminate new scientific knowledge, skill, attitude and agricultural technology generated in Project Phase I, he assured.
Dr. Sabura Shara, giving training on “Enset Bacterial Wilt and its Management” said, Enset provides a living for approximately 20 million smallholder farmers in Ethiopia; bacterial wilt is a major threat to the production of this staple crop. The disease is spread mechanically from diseased Enset plants to healthy ones, primarily by contaminated equipment used for land preparation and pruning. He suggested that rogueing diseased Enset plants by digging them out carefully and putting them into a pit and burying by covering with soil and using disease free seedlings are important management mechanisms to manage the disease.
Dr. Gezahegn Garo offering training on manure management and nutrient loss during storage said that livestock manure is an important source of nutrients for plants. However, poor storage practices will result in the loss of key nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium over time. Dr. Gezahgn emphasized that manure should be covered during storage to limit loss in gaseous form and leaching; roofing and flooring are vital to prevent runoff and nutrient leaching into the soil.
Dr. Ashenafi Azage giving training on feed conservation through fermentation mentioned that in Ethiopia hay and crop waste conservation is often practiced in an open environment where sunlight and rainfall cause deterioration and nutrient leaching. He also stated that local farmers have a feed deficit for their livestock particularly during the dry season as it severely reduces livestock productivity and causes animals to perish. Therefore, to sustainably increase feed security, especially in the dry season, he suggested farmers to utilize the silage technology to preserve feed.
Among the trainees, Mr. Tukure Fako from Boreda Woreda, Woyede Mulato Keble, said that he has learned new concepts and practices on Enset bacterial wilt management, Enset processing technologies and livestock feed conservation. He also ensured his readiness to transfer the new practices that he has got from the training to other farmers in the community.
Mrs. Aberash Anta, Agricultural Expert from Bonke Woreda, Kacha Singa Kebele, revealing the benefits she gained said that she has learned important skills and shared practices that help her improve her ability of supporting farmers in crop and livestock production, productivity and disease management, feed security.
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