The Agroecology platform of AgriProFocus Ethiopia hosted a field visit to Menjar area Arerti woreda, BoloSilase kebele.
Bolo Silase kebele of Arerti woreda, has a soil type of silty loam, temperature ranging between 18-33°C. The livelihood of the area is mixed agriculture and livestock Like other parts of the country it is also characterized by rain fed agriculture the cash crops are teff, wheat, chick pea, barley, fruits and onion.
Now-a-day’s climate change is a boundless problem in every corner of the world so
the farmers needed to practice soil and water conservation techniques widely. In
order to capable of being resilient to environmental shocks they built water
harvesting pond and practicing other NRM techniques. In that kebele earthen ponds were built at family
level having a capacity of 84 – 129 cubic meter of water and at community level
having a capacity of 1,500 – 2,600 cubic meter, and covered by algae to reduce
evaporation. There were two ponds the one is for silt trap and reservoir in
between them there is a pipe to connect them. They use the water for irrigation at critical times: for annuals like
vegetables and onion at the seedling development stage (the visited farmers earned high income from sale of seedlings - 60,000-70,000
ETB/ 0.5ha of land) and for the perennial fruits at the flowering stage.
A limiting factor for the practice of rainwater harvesting in the area is the limited quality and quantity of the plastic and geomembrane for lining the water collection pits.
The agroecosystem of the farmers of the area is very species diverse, it holds:
- Fruit trees – Avocado, Guava, Lemon, Orange, Mango, Banana, Moringa and Papaya
- Vegetables - especially onion
- Crops – Sorghum, Maize, Coffee,
- Spices and herbs - especially rosemary
area is a best example for agroforestry practice. It integrates soil and water
conservation with natural resource management.
The Field visit was organized by Agroecology Steering Committee Member Yemane Gebreselassie, who researches rainwater harvest with Adama Science and Technology University (ASTU), together with AgriProFocus Staff. Logistics of the Field visit were funded by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit Agricultural Mechanization and Technology for Smallholder Productivity (GIZ AMTP).