Field Day Organized Collaboratively by Adet RC and SMIS
Adet Agricultural Research Center in collaboration with Small Scale and Micro Irrigation Support Project (SMIS) organized a field day which has taken place at Jiga Yelmdar Kebele of Jabitehnan Woreda on 12th March 2017. The field day was attended by over 76 participants represented from Awi and Western Gojam Zone Agricultural Development Offices, Finoteselam Zuria, Jabitehnan, Gugusa Shikudad and Ankesha Woreda Agricultural Development Offices, Amhara Agricultural Research Institute (ARARI), Small Scale and Micro Irrigation Support Project (SMIS) and Adet Agricultural Research Center. Furthermore, over 40 farmers from the kebele have also participated in the field day. The aim of the field day was to introduce farmers and other stakeholders with the full package technologies of onion so that a large number of farmers would start producing the crop for income and their household consumption.
SMIS Project coordinator, Ato Mamaru, in his opening speech pointed out that the project has established water users association and also has carried out improved onion demonstration trial following farmers feedback on irrigated hybrid maize experiment which was concluded successfully last year. During the field day held a year before, farmers disclosed that they have given up producing shallot because of its susceptibility to diseases and pests. Finally, he has acknowledged researchers, development agents and employees of SMIS for their contributions in undertaking the experiment and organizing the field day successfully.
Ato Minwuyelt Jemberie, who has been responsible for the trial, explained that based on the results of the previous experiments conducted at Koga and Rib, 250 kg NPS/ha and100 kg urea/ha, 15 cm spacing between rows and 6 cm interval between plants, 4 times chemical (profit against thrips and Daizinol against cut worm) sprays and watering within 8 days interval have been applied during the execution of the demonstration trial. He also emphasized that both Adama red and Bombay red varieties are economically rewarding for they yield 300-400 quintals aside from providing important nutrients like phosphorus, vitamins and carbohydrates that help to dilate blood vessels. The experiments that were taken place earlier reveal that Adama red is somehow preferable than Bombay red because of its red color, shelf life and productivity.
Ato Geremew, a farmer on whose plot the demonstration activity has been conducted, stated that he applied urea twice at planting and after 10 days with 1st cultivation, undertook cultivation twice, watered the onion every 8 days and sprayed chemicals 4 times. He also underlined that the labor he used for the improved practice is very minimal when compared with that of the traditional practice and as a result of the technology (both tangible and intangible/recommendations) used the overall performance of the crop is very evident.
Ato Asefa, who is a resident farmer, affirmed that the difference between the farmers traditional practice and the new improved one is like the difference between the sky and the earth. He also pointed out that he was one of the farmers who declined to produce onion because of his belief that the crop requires watering twice a day which in his thought is impossible for water is very scarce in the area. But now from the demonstration field day he learnt that once the crop is watered it can stay up to 8 days without being damaged or wilting. In his final remark, Ato Assefa, accentuated the importance of having a modern irrigation scheme in the domain so as to scale up the best practice and thereby improve the income of farmers.
Similarly, Ato Embiale who is a horticulture expert from Ankesha Guagusa Woreda, explained his delight upon the introduction of a useful technology to the kebele. He highlighted the need to scale up the practice and make other farmers beneficiaries of the research result as well. While mentioning the experience of the woreda he represented, about 400 hectares of land have been allocated for onion production from which 400 quintals of yield per hectare is anticipated by implementing similar practices tested here in Jigayelmdar kebele.
Finally, other speakers have underscored the importance of increasing irrigation water which could be used not only for horticultural crops but also for other cereals, the need to introduce technologies or other inputs that protect the crop from pest damage, the urgency of having post harvest technology, the responsibility of AGP (Agricultural Development Program) and extension to scale up the technology demonstrated, the importance of research to address the problems identified and reported by AGP such as diseases and pests on orange, hot pepper and coffee