Workshop launches new project to support wheat farmers in Ethiopia
Through prototype technology and agricultural practices, the ADAPT-Wheat program will help small and medium wheat farmers in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia. The Adaptation, Demonstration and Piloting of Wheat Technologies for the Irrigated Lowlands of Ethiopia (ADAPT-Wheat) initiative began in October last year, in Adama, Ethiopia, with an inception workshop .
The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) is leading a project to convert the irrigated lowlands of Ethiopia’s Awash Valley from cotton monoculture to cotton-wheat rotation. This change will boost local wheat production and contribute significantly to the country’s goal of wheat self-sufficiency.
Wheat is the second staple crop in Ethiopia and a key element of food security. CIMMYT has a long history of helping Ethiopian wheat farmers adopt superior, high-yielding, disease-resistant cultivars. In 2018, DNA fingerprinting studies revealed that wheat varieties derived from CIMMYT accounted for 87% of all types of wheat produced in Ethiopia.
National wheat production and productivity in Ethiopia has nearly doubled over the past 15 years due to improved farmer access to superior varieties, implementation of a variety of agronomic management recommendations, favorable marketing and strong supply networks. Despite this, the demand for wheat in Ethiopia is growing faster than productivity due to increasing population, higher incomes and accelerated urbanization.
Scientists believe that if wheat production is increased through proper mechanization, proven agronomic practices, and high-yielding, early-maturing, heat-tolerant, and rust-resistant wheat varieties, grain yields four tons of wheat per hectare can be achieved in the lowlands. regions such as Afar and Oromia regions. Ethiopia’s goal of self-sufficiency in wheat by 2023 will be achieved when the three-year ADAPT-Wheat project is fully implemented.
Participants came together at the kick-off event to share their thoughts and experiences, identify gaps, and define the roles and duties of implementing partners. Project managers were also able to confirm participating kebeles (small administrative units) and organize and approve project activities during the conference.
“The forum was a great opportunity to talk about irrigated wheat, to get to know each other and to understand the function of each office and its contribution to the success of the project”, said Bekele Abeyo, CIMMYT representative in Ethiopia. Scientists from a number of Ethiopian research institutes, representatives of public and private seed companies, heads of agricultural bureaus (including those in the Afar and Oromia regions), local governments and representatives from the German Agency for International Cooperation were among the workshop participants. (GIZ).
The essential agronomy, livestock and mechanization operations that will be assessed, validated, scaled up and scaled up during the project in seven districts, two in the Afar zone and five in the region of Oromia, were also discussed.
The inception and planning workshop reached consensus on how to address bottlenecks before project deployment. “The meeting provided a great opportunity for implementing partners to engage with the new project by recognizing the importance of irrigated lowland wheat to achieve wheat self-sufficiency by 2023,” Bekele said. . noted.