Various interventions (technologies) to benefit smallholder farmers

 

Photo credit: Africa Rising

Improved avocado varieties introduced by Africa RISING and grown by Mr. Tefera Anito in Lemo site(photo credit:\ILRI Kindu Mekonnen)

Beyond adoption – fruit farmers in Ethiopia are innovating with their Africa RISING technologies

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The Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands has introduced and validated various interventions (technologies) to benefit smallholder farmers. High value fruit trees, such as improved avocado and apple varieties are some of the technologies that the project has tested at its four sites in collaboration with the World Agroforestry Centre / ICRAF.

Avocado is mainly grown in the Southern Nation, Nationalities and People’s Region (SNNPR). Many farmers in southern Ethiopia are familiar with and have been growing local avocado varieties.

However, these require a long gestation period to set fruits. The local varieties are also tall and therefore not easy for farmers to harvest, a process that requires much labour and time.Sometimes farmers wait 6-7 years after planting and even then end up with trees that do not set fruits.

Responding to these challenges, Africa RISING accessed grafted seedlings of five improved Avocado varieties (Hass A type, red 30, Naval, Ethinger and Fruite) from Butajira horticultural nursery (central Ethiopia) and distributed these for evaluation to a group of Africa RISING farmers at the Lemo site (Photo 1). Farmers planted the improved varieties in 2014 with strong support from the project. Subsequently, they purchased further grafted seedlings from the nursery in 2015. The improved varieties introduced by Africa RISING are setting fruits within 1-2 years. They are short, making harvesting very easy, and they are productive.

Read the full article: Africa Rising

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Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.