Project Description: The Operational Research Technology Dissemination Project (ORTDP) is Irish Aid supported project working on Participatory Evaluation and Dissemination of Climate Smart Agricultural Technologies. It has been designed with the purpose of improving the agricultural productivity, particularly crop and livestock technologies thereby improve food and nutrition security of poor households, empowering women to use agricultural technologies and building climate resilient farming system in the region.
The project has been implemented in 3 districts; Hawzien, T/Mychew and Tselemti (1 watershed from each). Technologies tested in the selected watersheds can be scaled out to more than 70% of the administrative districts of the region.
Project Goal: To contribute to food and nutrition security, gender equity and building climate resilient farming system through introduction and dissemination of climate smart agricultural technologies
Implementation Modalities: The project adopted the integrated watershed and on-farm participatory approach, which allows active involvement of farmers, researchers and development practitioners at all levels. It focused on testing of appropriate and affordable technologies and trials are farmer managed with technical support of researchers and development agents.
Project beneficiaries: The ultimate beneficiaries are households who are poor and PSNP recipients and have limited access to new technologies either due to limited awareness or lack of finance to purchase technologies. More than 70% of the livestock technology beneficiaries are women.
Crop Productivity: With the project support different varieties of the major food crops have been identified, demonstrated and popularized. With this there has been significant achievement in terms of improving productivities of those target crops.
Livestock Productivity: The new livestock technologies of poultry, sheep, beekeeping and feed increased productivity of eggs, meat, honey/wax and milk. As a result, farmers were able to increase their income from the sale of their animal and animal products
Most of the crop varieties introduced mature early (from 85 to 110 days). These include majority of the wheat, teff (boset), maize, and sorghum (Melkam, Dekeba and Charie). These varieties can mature 15 to 25 days earlier compared to the local varieties.
The chicken and sheep breeds have also wider agro-ecological adaptation and to the existing farmers’ management practices.
Increasing productivity of animal products such as egg and milk has important contribution in improving the household nutrition. These increased HH egg and milk consumption. Crop varieties like Melkassa-6Q (Maize) and different varieties of Chickpea are also cheap protein sources to resource poor households.
With regard to use of agricultural technologies women are the most disadvantaged groups. In this regard, majority of the project beneficiary (>70%) of the livestock technologies in general and poultry and small ruminants in particular are women farmers (women headed households and women in a male headed household). These commodities can easily be converted in to cash, have short reproductive cycle, and require relatively less input (finance, labor, feed) to manage. These enabled women to hold cash that needed for the purchase of household consumables & miscellaneous expenses.
Obviously resource poor households have difficulties to access new technologies mainly due to lack of finance to purchase as well as limited awareness about the technologies. So far the project has benefited quite large number of resource poor households through direct provision, revolving fund as well as farmer-to-farmer exchange of technologies.
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