Participatory Evaluation and Demonstration of Improved Teff Varieties in Selected Districts of Borana Zone (Published)
The research activity was carried out with the objective of evaluating and identifying adaptable and improved teff varieties and to familiarize farmers and agro-pastoralists with teff production techniques. It was executed at Abaya and Yabello woredas of Borana Zone for two years (2012/13-2014/15). A multidisciplinary team composed of breeder, pathologist, agronomist and agricultural extensionist was closely working both with the farmers and respective woreda agricultural experts and DAs. Regular visits, trainings and field days were conducted to provide for interaction among researchers, extension workers and farmers. The variety selection process was carried out from different dimensions including utilization, marketing and field performance. The major selection criteria of the farmers in the two locations were almost similar except in very few cases where they vary in level of emphasis to a particular criterion. In general, color, panicle length, taste, market demand were identified as important farmer criteria. The other important criteria were related to field performance of the variety that includes: yield and tolerance to disease and insect pest followed by maturity period. Using these criteria the farmers identified varieties that suit their respective location. Accordingly, Abaya farmers showed special interest to Tsedey and Ajord, while Tsedey and Magna were preferred at Yabello. The most interesting part of the finding was that most of the varieties preferred from utilization and marketing angle were also found superior to the local ones in their field performance. Side by side, with the aim of strengthening local availability of seeds of preferred varieties, farmer based seed production was launched and the seed produced was purchased both in cash and in kind by non-participant farmers. Moreover, by way of revolving seed it was attempted to redistribute the seed to other non participant farmers in the area. In so doing both awareness and access to the technology was improved.