In preparation for the coming vegetable production season in East Ethiopia, Fair Planet’s technical team held a training seminar for Bureau of Agriculture experts in Tony research farm in Dire Dawa.
The “hands on” seminar touched all the important topics of pre-season preparations:
Twenty-six experts and developmental agents from the extension department of the Ministry of Agriculture in Dire Dawa attended the training, together with the extension head, Mr. Abdul Rahman.
The seminar started with a theoretical background from Fair Planet’s agronomists Faisal and Fentahun, covering all the aspects of pre-season preparations. Then, the seminar took to the field, where our local technicians, Mohammad and Ibrahim, led the practical demonstration with active participation and hands on learning of the experts, who actually prepared a plot for the coming season.
At the end of the practical training, there was a Q&A session in which questions of the participants were discussed.
The seminar was very successful, and the participants now can transfer the know-how to the farming community in the region.
On 18/10/22 we had a training day for farmers at the crop museum in Sokoine University (SUA).
A total of almost 100 guests.
The day started with a reception and breakfast, followed by produce exhibition and distribution of training materials. We presented the project and Fair Planet’s chief agronomist gave an introductory talk about crop production using high quality seeds.
We then conducted the on farm training that included familiarization with the variety test and the importance of seed selection, followed by explanation of the specific crop production protocols, irrigation and fertilization schemes, maintenance and crop protection tools and guidelines. We concluded the training with a Q&A session.
While our projects in Dire Dawa and Harar are continuing and increasing, with hundreds farmers trained, this time we would like to tell you about our next adventure – Afar. Our team, Eden Peled and Faysal Abdi, visited Samara, a new city founded about 15 years ago as the capital of the Afar district. It is a very challenging, remote region with though weather conditions. The area around the city is practically a desert, disturbed only by the green streak of the Awash, one of Ethiopia’s largest rivers. Smallholder agriculture around Samara is dominated by herding and wandering, with very little horticulture, even though the combination of excellent soil, lots of water and sun and plenty of free land, is a paradise for vegetable production.
Meeting with the president of the university of Samara and the stuff of the College of Agriculture, the team learnt that agriculture in general, and vegetables production in particular are very undeveloped in the district, with almost no access to improved varieties, fertilizers and chemicals. The team visited Dubti, a small rural town, a 25-minute drive from Samara, situated in the heart of the green Awash area. Around the town they could see the beginning of agriculture production, but the level is still very low – exactly the type of place Fair Planet can make a huge difference. Visiting onion producing farmers, the team learned that the seeds are bought in Addis Ababa and other inputs are very hard to come by. The knowledge is lacking and the yields are very low. Yes, this is the perfect place for the next Fair Planet project. Stay tuned.
Fair Planet – Summary of Activities, 2021
Freeing subsistence farming families from poverty
Together with the rest of the world, we shared many ups and downs in 2021. Yet, with all the difficulties, we finish the year on a definite note of (cautious) optimism, going into 2022.
1. Ethiopia – bright lights in a dark tunnel
While the ongoing political crisis meant we had to evacuate all foreign staff, our local teams successfully kept the two main stations fully operative. We plan to join them in February (if the situation allows) to begin testing TPS (True Potato Seeds). Science indicates that growing potatoes from seed may prove transformational for Food Security throughout the developing world – and we are at the cutting edge of this potential change.
2. Tanzania – we have successful lift-off!
In November, we began training small-holder farmers in the Morogoro district of Tanzania. Fifty Lead Farmers from five large villages signed up after seeing the impact of growing seeds tested for local suitability. Our Tanzania programs have won the support of the country’s Ministry of Agriculture, Sokoine, its premier agricultural university, and various commercial enterprises.
3. Exploration Missions – new countries call
Fair Planet has been asked to conduct two new Exploration Missions in 2022, the first to Kenya, the second to Rwanda. We are currently finalizing details. The missions are a first step in starting new projects in these two East African countries.
4. Funding – opening multiple avenues
Several of our global commercial partners have renewed their pledges for long-term financial support, and we are hoping more will soon follow.
We have applied for funding from major governmental and private grant bodies.
This year, for the first time, we launched crowdfunding activities via the international GlobalGiving platform, where Fair Planet’s campaign page is: http://goto.gg/53427 .
A million thanks again for your ongoing support.
The Fair Planet Team
Fair Planet Successfully Launches its Life-Changing Programs in Tanzania
Freeing subsistence farmers from the prison of poverty & hunger
Having successfully freed half a million people from poverty in Ethiopia, in November, Fair Planet launched its first training program for small-holder farmers in Tanzania.
In an open day held at our Field Testing station, fifty carefully selected Lead Farmers – both men and women – from five large villages of the Morogoro district enrolled in the program. They did so after seeing for themselves the difference made by growing vegetables fromseeds which have been scientifically tested for local suitability.
“I heard about the work of Fair Planet from my local extension officer,” said Ms. Violeth Adongo, one of the newly enrolled farmers. “How using their method could double the yield of my crops. But I didn’t really believe it was possible until I saw it with my own eyes.”
“We proved, and improved, our unique knowledge-transfer methodology during a decade working in Ethiopia,” said Dr. Alon Haberfeld, CEO of Fair Planet. “Now Tanzania is the first step in our plans to significantly scale up our international operations over the coming years.”
Fair Planet’s Tanzania programs have won the support of the country’s Ministry of Agriculture, Sokoine, its premier agricultural university, SUGECO, the university graduates’ cooperative, and commercial enterprises such as Bayer, Enza Zaden and Sakata.
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