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CASCAPE- Mekelle holds annual review and planning workshop

CASCAPE- Mekelle University cluster held annual review and planning workshop on May 7, 2017 in Wukro town to review the activities accomplished in 2016 and discuss and enrich the annual plan for 2017. The workshop was attended by representatives from regional stakeholders, BENEFIT partners, heads of Tigray Agricultural Research Institute (TARI), senior University professors and representatives from the 13 AGP Woredas where CASCAPE is actively implementing its activities. Professor Fetien Abay, Vice President for Research and Community Services at Mekelle University and CASCAPE MU advisor, in her welcoming address, noted the fruitful activities the project has accomplished in its first phase and thanked the stakeholders for their contribution in making CASCAPE-I a success and pleaded to continue their contribution in the second phase of the project for more targeted achievements that would contribute solving the agriculture production and productivity problems in the region. During his opening speech, Fisaha Bezabih, Deputy Head of the Regional Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development (BoARD), also underlined that the MU-CASCAPE’s significant undertakings on research, capacity building and scaling activities in collaboration with Regional stakeholders. He reiterated the project’s efforts to forge a link among the BoARD Extension system, Mekelle University and Tigray Agriculture Research Institute (TARI) to bring research outputs and farmers’ best practices to the farmers in the region and urge other stakeholders to follow similar initiative.

Following presentations on 2016 annual report and plan for 2017, participants appreciated the achievements made in 2016 on research, capacity building and scaling activities. They also acknowledged the highly ambitious planned activities for 2017. Some of the major CASCAPE activities that were recognized by the participants include:

  • Research activities such as demonstrations and adaptation trials that are being done in the farmers’ fields and the changes being achieved in CASCAPE -I Intervention Woredas;
  • Activities accomplished to establish knowledge management centers in selected Farmers’ Training Centers (FTCs) as a model for other FTCs;
  • Support provided to TARI on documentation and communication of research outputs and innovations; and
  • Activities accomplished in soil mapping and soil based fertilizer recommendations.

As the main impending problems on the production and productivity of the region was mentioned to be moisture stress, pest and disease and soil fertility problems, the project was recommended to gear up its interventions based on the environmental challenges and the rapid population growth so that demand and expectations from the community and government in ensuring sustainable agriculture is attained. Based on this, the project was requested to intensify its research and capacity building activates on:

  • Adaptation of new varieties beforehand as varieties are becoming obsolete within few years because of disease, pests and environmental changes
  • Conduct research activities on irrigated agriculture and alleviating salinization problem as rainfed agriculture is becoming unreliable
  • Intensify research on pests and diseases management as the problem is recently aggravated.
  • Orienting its agriculture production and productivity towards agribusiness and work on creating market value chains for agriculture products.

Finally, the review was concluded with an official handing over of documents published by CASCAPE (three best fit manuals, six in-depth study reports and guideline and nine different posters) to the regional stakeholders and Woreda participants. 

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