To draw up plans for the upcoming cropping season, a stakeholder and innovations platform meeting for common bean was held recently in Ethiopia at Melkassa Agri Research Center, as part of the activities of the Tropical Legumes III (TL III) project led by ICRISAT.
In the inaugural session, Dr Berhanu Amsalu Fenta from Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) and leader of the TL III project, briefed the participants on the objectives and expected output of the meeting. Dr Asnake Fikre, Regional Chickpea Breeder and Seed System Specialist, ICRISAT-Ethiopia, emphasized on improving the decentralized seed system, competitive product delivery to the global market; institutional linkages and the need for development of a variety descriptor so that product identification is not complicated. Demonstrations of mechanization implements and exhibits of processed and canned bean products and super varieties were also displayed at the venue.
Around 100 participants representing multi-sectoral streams attended the meeting held on 5-7 June. The platform participants included researchers, farmers and members of seed unions, Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency, Ethiopian Commodity Exchange, NGOs, private seed and bio-fertilizer companies, crop insurance companies, and seed quality laboratories.
Project name: Tropical Legumes III
Investors: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Research organizations: Haromaya University; Agricultural Research Centers in Sirinka, Adet, Bako, Jimma, Areka and Hawassa; directorates of mechanization, crop protection, and food science; International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT); and ICRISAT
NGOs: Catholic Relief Services (CRS), SNV Netherlands Development Organization and Self Help Africa
Unions: Lume Adama, Meki Batu, Ambericho, Utawayu and Ras Gaint
Seed producers groups: Five groups, Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency and Ethiopian Commodity Exchange
Exporters: Two companies; Oromia Crop Insurance Company; Federal, zonal, and Woreda agricultural bureaus
One Cooperative agency
Two agro dealers
Two parastatal seed enterprises
Two seed quality labs