Scientists implementing activities on landscape and watershed management in the IITA-led Africa RISING projects recently took part in a cross-learning visit to the Ethiopian highlands. The visit took place on 19 to 24 April and was organized by the Africa RISING project coordination office at IITA in Ibadan.
The objective was to provide the scientists with an opportunity to share experiences with colleagues from Ethiopia on the effective establishment of land and watershed management research trials and interventions. Eleven scientists from other CGIAR centers, Government Directorates and non-governmental organizations from Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Ghana, and Mali took part in the learning visit.
The participants also visited the sites of the ILRI-led Africa RISING Ethiopia project in Warena and Lemo Districts. Below are three key lessons learned by scientists. A report of the trip can be downloaded at http://africa-rising.wikispaces.com/AR_WA-ESA+Learning+Trip+to+Ethiopia.
Festo Ngulu, Consultant Agronomist, IITA
Seeing is believing: Farmers learned so much from fellow farmers through exchange visits organized by the Africa RISING Ethiopia Project. It is important to let farmers draw from the experiences of fellow farmers and complement their own ingenuity in implementing agricultural interventions.
Davie Kadyampakeni, Researcher-Agriculture Water Management, IWMI
Interventions should be demand-driven: Farmers expressed interest in the interventions before Africa RISING mobilized support to help them. Thus, a demand-driven intervention will ensure that farmers own it and share it with one another. This makes scaling up and out very easy to achieve within the short span of the project.
Kennedy Ng’ang’a, GIS and Remote Sensing Analyst, CIAT
Close collaboration and genuine partnership is critical: The Africa RISING team in Ethiopia enjoys strong and close partnerships with other CGIAR centers (CIMMYT, CIP, ICRISAT, CIAT, IWMI and IFPRI), universities, agricultural research institutes, Government district and Kebele (village) agricultural officials. This is important in ensuring that the interventions introduced to the communities are sustainable in the long term.