REALIZE Project: Two-day workshop on Participatory Rural Appraisal held

The Office of Vice President for Research and Community Service recently has hosted two-day workshop in relation with REALIZE Project on Participatory Rural Appraisal carried out in four designated woredas – Mirab Abaya, Zala, Derashe and Kucha from 18th to 19th December, 2018, at New Hall at Main Campus.Click here to see the pictures

The workshop was aimed at getting project’s PRA findings validated from the respective woreda officials. Under this, the officials have literally endorsed all findings of varying nature such as shortage of safe and potable water, recurrent droughts, lack of animal feed, inaccessibility, absence of basic amenities, etc.

In each woreda around 150 farmers had discussion with project surveyors and revealed their existing problems such as recurrent drought, poor seed distribution, prevalence pest and diseases in farm, water shortage, lack of animal feed, etc.

Vice President for Research and Community Service, Dr Simon Shibru, opening the workshop, said, it’s defining moment for AMU, as we are getting to know community’s issues and resolve them. This project is about building the bridge, wherein PRA outcomes will be duly validated by horse’s mouth. We will work in close cooperation in assessing ground-realities and executing much-needed interventional strategy that will correspondingly address the common and disparate issues of respective woredas and kebeles.

Project point person, Dr Mebratu Alemu, gave an overview of the project, its mandate and spoke as to how farmers of designated woredas will be benefitted. During the group discussion, each woreda having deliberated their respective problems has also pondered over common issues.

Further, Dr Mebratu said, based on the outcome of this phase, we will look into best practices that can be adopted by farmers; seed distribution, systemic innovation and institutional preparedness are the four milestones of the project. The participants were also informed about seed distribution by Endrias Hebana and social inclusion by Michael Heiso.

This first phase had baseline survey, and new phase will begin from January 2019; regional workshop will also be hosted from 11th to 12th February, 2019, at Main Campus with representatives of Wageningen University and Research; government, private stakeholders and others from within Ethiopia will partake.

Kucha Woreda Agricultural and Natural Resource Bureau Head, Mr Tiko Tilante, said, our community is suffering from food insecurity; we need improved seed varieties that will enhance crop production. Actually, Kucha woreda is battling with constant drought, poor seed, lack of water supply, etc. and having agreed with PRA outcomes, I assured full support from my office to this project, he reiterated.

Amarech Zelate, a female farmer from Gacha kebele in Zala woreda, owns 1 hectare of land but she said, her crop production is minimal due to recurrent drought; we don’t have access to safe and potable water. Only few members of my family are beneficiary of Productive Safety Net Program. Of her nine children only one is in university and others are in school; she expects this project to ease out her economic plight

Kucha woreda’s male farmer, Dyagondasha, owns two hectares of land, where he cultivates sweet potatoes, groundnut, kasava, and teff for his family due to drought and lack of irrigation he can’t go for better yield. He is totally depends on natural rainfall; and expects REALIZE project will improve their lives.

One of the surveyors, Sagido Abebe, informed that a team of five has surveyed each two kebeles of four woredas - Mirab Abaya woreda’s Zala-Gudisha and Alge kebeles, Zala’s Malabaisa and Gaisa, Darashe’s Holte and Shinale and Kucha’s Morka and Gale kebeles had similar issues such as recurring drought, absence of irrigation, land-degradation, shortage of safe and potable water, malnutrition, etc.

It was learnt that five surveyors, Sagido Abebe, Arga Aligo, Endrias Hebana, Kanko and Michael Heiso had put in painstaking efforts in identifying aforesaid socio-economic issues causing untold miseries to the residing farmers.

(Corporate Communication Directorate)