Ethiopia’s agricultural extension technologies and practices need to be replicated and applied to a pastoral sector. The remark was made by Dr. Jeff Mutimba, East Africa Regional Coordinator for (SAFE) Sasakawa Africa Fund for Agriculture Education.
Dr. Jeff told The Ethiopian Herald that there are a lot more recommended technos practiced by Ethiopian farmers. “If you go to Shashemene, the farmers are prospering because of the way they manage, harvest and thresh their crops. They have completely abandoned the traditional method of harvesting.”
He attached the significant changes these farmers showed in terms of income to the application of agricultural extension technologies. “The farmers could now have quality produces.”
By the same token, a representative from Ethiopian Rural Economic Development and Food Security Dejene Abesha recently highlighted : “We recognize that there are sufficient technologies on the shelf to make a difference at the farmer level.”
Dr Jeff lauded the Ethiopian government for allocating huge budget to put in place viable agricultural extension system in the country . He also said the country has better understanding of front line extension workers.
Moreover, Dr. Jeff noted that the extension workers have been deployed in a decentralized manner and they are also trained well as agriculture extension experts . ” Thanks to the so far exerted effort, Ethiopia has achieved the highest concentration of extension workers per farmers in Africa and one of the top agricultural extension systems in the world, ” he said.
According to him, SAFE would encourage the government to replicate this success story in the pastoral sector.”
Regarding the pastoral sector, Dr. Jeff said that the curriculum SAFE produced was developed after carrying out national survey on the peculiarities and the fundamental needs of these states.
Regarding ways of alleviating challenges of the pastoral sector, Dr. Jeff said: “Basically, it is up to universities to pick up the challenges and come up with technologies and practices that address farmers’ problems. They should avoid being too theoretical, being ivory towers, and coming up with sciences that does not apply to farmer level.”
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