Agro-BIG News

Field events

Refresher training on onion seed certification

Establishing a formal certified seed system for onion is one of the big achievements that AgroBIG has been strongly contributing to. Number of onion seed farmers has increased year by year, and now in Mecha, there are 42 certified seed producers.
Trainings and agronomic manuals on good agricultural practices have already been produced and provided, but in order to address remaining knowledge and skill gaps among farmers, a refresher training on standard certified seed production and quality control was organized on the 27 April. Fifty farmers, extension agronomists and focal persons attended the practical training in the Kudmi seed cooperative premises and surrounding field. 


In the classroom, expert form the Bahir Dar Quarantine Authority branch office clarified the rules, regulations and procedures regarding seed certification, including requirements for production sites, pest and disease control and sample collection.

 At the field level it was practically demonstrated when and how to harvest as well as how to properly dry, thresh and clean the onion heads and seeds. Training was very much appreciated by the trainees. Still a lot is expected form the farmers as regards to quality. Form the administration side, creation of stronger market linkages is expected to combat illegal brokers. Illegal production is another issue to be tackled. Seed production should be only be accepted by licensed producers. .        

Potato field day on fertilizer application

Fertilizer application is not as simple as it may sound. Different crops have differing requirements under varying conditions. At the same time one should take care of the organic matter content of the soil
In 2015, Bahir Dar University (BDU) was granted for an AgroBIG IDRF grant of 212 600 birr, with own contribution of 110 020 birr, for conducting a research to draw recommendations on the right amount and combination of inorganic fertilizers and manure on potato. On two sites in Mecha, adjacent plots were exposed on different combinations of DAP, urea and composted manure to find the combination resulting in best potato performance.  


 To demonstrate the results, a farmer field day was organized for model farmers in Kudmi on the 22 April. The differences were visible with bare eyes. Some plots were very green and rich with vegetative growth, whereas others were lighter in colour and with less vegetative matter, an issue that also indicates poor tuber growth.
Now it is the task of the BDU to propose and produce locally suitable recommendations for appropriate fertilizer and compost use for wider dissemination. .