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The second awareness event for farmers and local stakeholders hosted in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

On July 1st, 2023, the Water and Land Resource Centre of Addis Ababa University organized an Awareness Session and Dissemination Event for Farmers and Local stakeholders in Ethiopia on the best management practices (BMPs) for Climate Smart Water Management. The meeting took place at Koga Irrigation Scheme in the town of Merawi, Bahir Dar, West Gojjam. The objective of the meeting was to enhance awareness on the proper application of Green Manuring and Crop Rotation for soil health, Agroforestry for boosting integrated agricultural systems and Water Users’ Association for effective governance.

Approximately 45 participants actively took part in the meeting, mostly farmers from the communities living along the Koga Dam and Irrigation Scheme. Representatives from the Water and Land Resource Centre, Addis Ababa University, the Amhara Agricultural Research Institute-ARARI, farmers under the Koga Irrigation Scheme in North Mecha Wereda, Weste Gojjam, district officials, the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA), and the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari (CIHEAM Bari).

Dr. Tena Alamirew, Deputy Director General of the Water & Land Resource Centre at Addis Ababa University, delivered the welcome note and provided a brief overview of the WATDEV project in Ethiopia and introduced the regional and international partnerships involved in the project. Representatives from CIHEAM Bari, Mr. Claudio Bogliotti and Dr. Gaetano Ladisa, gave a concise overview of the project's activities. They emphasized that the primary goal of the meeting was to enhance productivity for the ultimate beneficiaries—the farmers. Mr. Moses Odeke, Head of Programmes at ASARECA, mentioned that the selected BMPs for Ethiopia and outlines the goals, methods, and potential impacts of the BMPs.

Experts from the Amhara Regional State Agricultural Research Institute (ARARI), Dr. Tesefey Feyesa, Director of Soil and Water Conservation, and Dr. Minale Wondie, Director of the Agroforestry Division, presented on soil health-related BMPs. They highlighted the importance of adopting integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) and emphasized that agroforestry serves as a strategy for climate-smart farming by integrating trees, crops, and livestock. Dr. Amare Bantider, Head of Resource Governance and Socio-Economic Division at the Water and Land Resource Centre, Addis Ababa University, discussed the goals, principles, and objectives of Water Users' Associations, using the Lasi Water Users Association as an example.

Following the presentations, an interactive discussion on the feasibility of the BMPs with the community was held, along with a prioritization exercise to determine their sustainability objectives. Representatives from local institutions commended the WATDEV project, emphasizing the importance of research-based development projects to improve agricultural practices in the long term and maximize their impact. The meeting concluded with an overview of the WATDEV roadmap and the next steps to be undertaken.


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