Ethiopia Country Platform
PROFIEET (Promotion of Farmer Innovation and Experimentation in Ethiopia), the platform which implements PROLINNOVA activities in Ethiopia, focused, in the first half of 2005, in giving continuity to the regional processes started in 2004. The strategy is based on the firm believe of PROFIEET that the PID processes must be more grounded and adapted to local realities.
The inventory of innovations, initiated at the workshops organised in two regions last year, was continued. At the same time, two new regional training workshops, in the coffee growing zone (Jimma, South Western Oromia) and in the Ethiopian Highlands (Axum, Tigray) were organised. The workshops were attended by 20 participants each, half of them farmer innovators. Representatives of research centres, universities, college of agriculture, NGOs and the Ministry of Agriculture were also present. After sessions with training on PID, farmers presented innovations. These are in the process of being documented in an innovation catalogue, to be published at the end of 2005. From the innovations presented, three were chosen, per region, to be disseminated widely and/or improved through PID.
The initial intention of PROFIEET was having four regional training and workshops during the reporting period. One workshop was postponed to the second half of the year, and the platform is now revisiting its ambitions, in face of the resources available. PROFIEET is also in the process of recruiting a full time coordinator.
In the first half of this year, great attention was also paid to lobbying and networking.
PROFIEET secretariat is presently coordinating its activities with that of Farm Africa, in order to join forces in promoting participatory ARD in 25 vocational agricultural colleges. It also met with the Minister of Agriculture, looking for support to PROFIEET proposal to CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency), and IFPRI/ISNAR, looking for potential synergy.
Finally, the country coordinator presented a paper in a workshop organised by the Ministry of Agriculture on prevention and disposal of obsolete pesticides, highlighting the role NGOs-government partnerships (of which PROFIEET is an example) can play in the process by supporting farmer-driven ecological agriculture and NRM.