Sarah Assefa

Assistant Linking and Learning

Ethiopia

About Me

Passionate about sustainable business. Trained in environmental science and policy, economics and ecology. Experienced in green cooperative business development, environmental research, and capacity building for corporate social responsibility. With AgriProFocus I facilitate innovation communities on subjects of agroecology, youth in agribusiness, and I offer training in AgriProFocus-style gender in value chain analysis.

Skills and Expertise


Interests


Posted By in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
Posted 7 February 2018 at 12:27

Sustainable Use of Biodiversity and Agroecology Course Delivered in Addis Abeba

The Agroecology Platform collaborated with the University of Padova (Italy) and with Catholic University (Ethiopia) to make the 6-day Sustainable Use of Biodiversity and Agroecology course (Jan 22-27) a success, contributing particularly through expertise of the network members on the first day and by organizing the field visit to a Botanical Garden and Organic Farm on the 6th and final day of the course. On the opening day of the course three Agroecology network members made presentations:

• Dr. Fentahun Mengistu of AKLDP presented What is Agroecology? Issues and Examples from the Ethiopian context

• Dr. Zewdie Kassa of AAU presented on Ethiopian Agrobiodiversity

• Dr. Hailu Araya of Pelum Ethiopia presented recent Research Findings on Agroecological Practices in the Horn of Africa

AgriProFocus organized Agroecology Network member participation and the field visit learning activities. About 35 professionals p

... Read more

Posted By in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
Posted 7 February 2018 at 12:16

Degraded Land Transformed into a Botanical Garden and Organic Farm

Over the course of 9 years Seblewongel Sedesse has created a productive organic farm and biodiversity sanctuary on 10 hectares of formerly barren and degraded land situated near Holeta, Ethiopia. 

When Seblewongel acquired her land it was covered with gullies, Eucalyptus stumps and no vegetation. Since then, she has rehabilitated the land naturally, by manually removing the Eucalyptus stumps, levelling the gullied land, applying mature chicken and cow manure, and promoting natural regeneration with indigenous plants such as agam and kaga. A new stream has sprung up on her property as a result of her land rehabilitation efforts.

At this time, over 4000 species have been documented in Seblewongel’s botanical garden. Her organic farm produces indigenous varieties of wheat as well as potatoes and teff. She also has livestock - goats and mixed-breed cows - from which she raises organic meat, and makes traditional cheese.

... Read more

Posted By in Ethiopia Agroecology Platform
Posted 19 December 2017 at 08:55

Tropical Permaculture Guidebook

Now updated and available for download here.

A practical reference guide for implementing permaculture techniques that are specific to tropical climates. It is a gift of ‘permaculture knowledge’ from Timor Leste to the region.

A complete permaculture guide for anyone to read and apply. Enables sustainable food production and food sovereignty. Facilitates climate resilience, and environmental regeneration. Empowers communities and secures livelihoods. 18 easy to follow chapters, 900+ pages with over 2000 detailed illustrations. More chapters will be added as they become available.


The book chapters are divided into three volumes with the following sub-themes:

  • Volume 1: Permaculture and people
  • Volume 2: House and garden
  • Volume 3: Regenerative agriculture

From WithOnePlanet Climate Change Education.


Alazar Michael Thanks, but where to find ?

1 month 3 weeks ago

Sarah Assefa You have to click the link where the word"Here" is in the first line of the article, or go to this page: http://withoneplanet.org.au/permaculture-guidebook/

1 month 3 weeks ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
Posted 14 December 2017 at 01:31

Field Report: Agricultural Mechanization at Melkasa Agricultural Research Center & Menjar Agroforestry and Rainwater Harvest

This learning trip was hosted by the partners of the Agroecology Platform - AgriProFocus, Canadian Food Grains Bank and AKLDP with the support of GIZ AMTP, and collaboration from Adama Science and Technology University, Farmers and local government authorities of Menjar, and Melkasa Agricultural Research Center. Please find full report attached.


Posted By in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
Posted 13 December 2017 at 03:52

Open call for examples of ‘Innovation for agroecology’

2nd International Symposium on Agroecology

Dear partners and colleagues,

As you may know, FAO is organizing the 2nd International Symposium on Agroecology (more information here: https://goo.gl/ic7PTf).

Agroecology depends on the co-creation of local capacities and knowledge –often building on traditional knowledge- that works with complex systems under changing environmental, social and economic conditions. That requires shifting the emphasis from traditional technology transfer approaches to identifying, supporting and strengthening the institutions and processes needed to enable innovative ways of knowledge creation and sharing.

As part of the Symposium, FAO will co-organize and host a ‘Market place on innovation for agroecology’. With the present call, we would like to highlight innovative example actions or processes from a wide range of actors involved in agriculture and food systems in their diversity

... Read more

Posted By in Ethiopia Agroecology Platform
Posted 12 December 2017 at 07:07

A new book is available online:

Everyday experts: how people’s knowledge can transform the food system

It explains how knowledge built up through firsthand experience can help solve the crisis in the food system. It brings together 57 activists, farmers, practitioners, researchers and community organisers from around the world to take a critical look at attempts to improve the dialogue between people whose knowledge has been marginalised in the past and others who are recognised as professional experts.

Using a combination of stories, poems, photos and videos, the contributors demonstrate how people’s knowledge can transform the food system towards greater social and environmental justice. Many of the chapters also explore the challenges of using action and participatory approaches to research. Chapter eight discusses a participatory approach to promoting agroecology.

You can download the entire book (14 MB) or single chapters (listed in attached flyer) on the website: http://www.coven

... Read more
nov
22

Workshop:Compost Theory and Practice

Event posted by in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
  22 November 2017 - 08:30 to 23 November 2017 - 16:30
  Addis Ababa University EIABC, Lideta, Addis Ababa

Learn all about compost from experts and practitioners. Practically make a compost heap and build your own vermicompost box!  Organized by AAU EIABC Landscape Architecture Department in collaboration with Boku and Hamburg Consult. To register to participate, please fill online registration form available via this LINK developed by AgriProFocus.

UPDATE: The PowerPoint Presentations from this workshop are now available upon request by emailing sassefa@agriprofocus.com.



nov
25

Organic Farmers Market

Event posted by in Ethiopia Agroecology Platform
  25 November 2017, 09:00-14:00
  In the compound of MIGBARE SENAY GENERAL HOSPITAL, near Aduwa Bridge, AA, Ethiopia

Organic tomatoes, honey, coffee, oils, cheese, fruits and more! This is the second gathering of this new farmers' market organized by Ecopia. Among sellers are Slow Food and AgriProFocus Member Alem of Nutri-Dense with her sprouted cereals. Flyer attached.




Posted By in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
Posted 14 September 2017 at 09:30

Bartering Tree-Preneurs

Value addition can come in many forms.  In South Africa, with the Wildlands Trees for Life Programme, community-based tree seedling growers (many of whom are youth) trade their seedlings for food, water tanks, and small business loans. Read more here.

Attention: "Surviving tree project" team from the AgriProFocus Youth in Agribusiness Network, that has been studying tree seedling value chains in Ethiopia - this may be of interest!


Posted By in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
Posted 10 July 2017 at 11:01

AgriProFocus Facilitates Mapping of Soil Fertility and Tree Seedling Value Chains

This quarter AgriProFocus facilitated two sustainable value chain workshops in Ethiopia:  one on mapping soil fertility value chains for the Fertile Grounds Initiative held in Ziway, and one on mapping tree seedling value chains for GiZ at Menagasha. Members of the AgriProFocus Youth in Agribusiness Platform had the opportunity to participate in both workshops.

The interactive value chain mapping technique described in the AgriProFocus Gender in Value Chains Toolkits was used in both instances; workshop participants were supported to identify social, economic and environmental constraints and opportunities to the core and extended value chain of specific agricultural products (highland tree seedlings, lowland tree seedlings, compost, biochar, vermicompost, biofertilizer, and green manure seed).

Feedback from the tree seedling value chain workshop was very positive, feedback from the soil fertility works

... Read more

Wim Goris close to 200 views, this is a sign of network interest in the topic !

3 months 2 weeks ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
Posted 10 July 2017 at 09:31

Projections have Ethiopia shifting from 20% urban to 60% urban in 50 years... so window gardening may become more and more important for nutrition of urban populations.

Ted talk by Britta Riley on window gardening available via this link.

jul
09

How to plant trees that survive

Event posted by in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
  09 July 2017, 09:00-11:30
  Mintesenot Urban Agriculture, Kasanchis - Kebena, AA

Tree Planting, Songs by the Ethiopia Environment Protection Club and Launching of the Surviving Tree Project!

The survival rate of trees planted from seedlings from some local tree seedling nurseries is estimated to be as low as 20% in the first 1-2 years after planting. The Surviving Tree Project seeks to promote the survival of planted tree seedlings through knowledge, and a competition in which the team of tree planters with the highest rate of tree survival get a cash award. (The design for this competition is inspired by the incentive scheme practiced by Wangari Maatha's Green Belt Movement).

The launch of the surviving tree project will take place at Mintesenot Urban Agriculture, an integrated farm on the Kebena River of Addis Abeba, that is run 100% by youth members creating jobs, healthy food and promoting environmental protection in their community.

Program

9:00 am - Welcome

9:15 am - Songs by the Ethiopia Environment Protection Club composed on the following themes:

Endemic tre

... Read more


Posted By in Ethiopia AgroEcology Platform
Posted 3 July 2017 at 02:32

Conservation Agriculture Event Proceedings

Conservation Agriculture techniques (or "CA" for short) include minimum tillage, use of cover crops, crop rotations and associations, and use of crop residues to build soil fertility and health. 

On June 2 in Addis Abeba, 17 presentations sharing practical CA experience and research from 5 regions in Ethiopia were made, interactive and participatory question and answer sessions where held with panelists, and demonstrations of mechanization for CA in Ethiopia were displayed. The Soil Fertility Directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources announced the status of their visionary work to integrate CA into extension policy.

CA successes and challenges identified by practitioners and researchers were discussed. Solutions for dilemmas such as integrating livestock with CA, use of herbicides in weed management, etc. were debated.

Proceedings from this event are attached.

This event was organized by three partners of the Agroecology Pla

... Read more

jun
02

Conservation Agriculture Experience Sharing and Networking

Event posted by in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
  02 June 2017, All Day Event
  Golden Tulip Hotel, Addis Abeba

Conservation Agriculture Experience Sharing Workshop June 2, 2017, AA

Conservation Agriculture Workshop Objectives

· To share conservation agriculture research and experience from 5 regions in Ethiopia.

· Interactive and participatory conservation agriculture learning among stakeholders.

· Networking for supportive relationship building to enhance conservation agriculture practice and scaling efforts.

We have invited practitioners from different regions to share their experiences implementing conservation agriculture. We have also invited researchers to share their research findings. Demonstrations of conservation agriculture inputs (tools and cover crop seeds, etc. will be on display. Posters regarding conservation agriculture research and activities are welcome.

The morning is dedicated to practical experience sharing by conservation agriculture practitioners in Ethiopia. The afternoon consists of conservation agriculture research presentations and round table discussi

... Read more


apr
28

History of Agroecology in Ethiopian Agriculture Policy

Event posted by in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
  28 April 2017, 03:30-05:00
  Africana Restaurant and Bar, Carl Square, Addis Ababa

A presentation on the history of Ethiopian agricultural policy and institutions shall be given by Dr. Demese Chanyalew on Friday April 28th at 3:30 pm at Africana Restaurant and Bar (Carl Square, near the South African Embassy). After Q&A pertaining to the presentation subject, participants are invited to network over drinks. To attend, please RSVP to sassefa@agriprofocus.com.

Dr. Demese is an independent consultant based in Addis Ababa with over 25 years of research and consulting experience covering agriculture sub-sectors, and agriculture sector-wide analysis and policy. His clients include UNECA, USAID, World Bank, COMESA, EU, AfDB, international NGOs, UNDP and FAO. Dr. Demese’s analysis and reviews have shaped the Ethiopia CAADP program, and he remains a key resource person for REDFS and donors involved in agricultural development and food security in Ethiopia. He holds a PhD from Kansas State University.

This event is organized by the Agroecology Network and its lead partners, Ag

... Read more



Posted By in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
Posted 22 April 2017 at 03:27

Indigenous Agroecology in Konso, Ethiopia

In Konso, communities have been terracing for over 600 years. The steep hillsides of Konso are sculpted by generations of human hands that have carefully laid stones in line with the natural horizontal contours designed to catch and keep the soil and water necessary for viable hilltop agriculture. Agroforestry has been combined with other forms of intercropping to keep the terraces in-tact, the soils fertile, and diversified nutrition available year round: For example, perennials like cassava are planted at the top of the stone terraces to support the terrace structure with their roots; in the cups of soil between terrace walls, crops such as beans, maize and sorghum are planted amongst one another; trees such as coffee, moringa, acacia, and terminalia are interspersed at greater distance along the terraces.

In addition to formation of terraces, various other water management techniques are actively used. To catch and sink runoff, circul

... Read more

Posted By in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
Posted 20 April 2017 at 03:09

Farm Africa Seeks a Programme Manager for Integrated Approach to Improving Rural Livelihoods

In Ethiopia, Farm Africa will be implementing a project entitled ‘Integrated approach to improve rural livelihoods, empowering communities and partners programme’ which is funded by SIDA (The Swedish International Development Agency). This project will be implemented by Farm Africa and the Union of Ethiopian Women Charitable Associations (UEWCA). The overall goal of the programme is to contribute to achievement of the Ethiopia's Growth and Transformation Plan II (GTPII) through agriculture business development, capacity building in project implementation and delivery, civil society strengthening and embedding climate smart practices in identified development interventions.

For more information on the Programme Manager position for this project, please see the document attached. Deadline for application is April 25th.


mar
30

Unlocking the Potential of Ethiopian Soils for the SDGs

Event posted by in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
  30 March 2017 - 09:00 to 31 March 2017 - 17:00
  EIAR, Addis Abeba, Ethiopia

Annual conference of the Ethiopian Society of Soil Science. Event open to old and first-time dues paying members.



Posted By in Ethiopia AgroEcology Platform
Posted 15 March 2017 at 12:19

Declaration and Way Forward from the Addis Abeba Conference on Food Systems

Representatives from our Agroecology Network participated in the conference entitled, “Changing Food Systems in Africa: Agroecology and Food Sovereignty and their Role in Nutrition and Health, that was organized by AFSA, IFOAM, AfrOnet and partners and held last November in Addis Abeba. Attached please find two outcomes of that conference - a declaration from the conference, and a document outlining the strategic way forward.


Posted By in Soil Management Network
Posted 4 February 2017 at 01:19

Monpellier Panel Report on Soils in Africa

About Ethiopian Soils it says the following:

LAND DEGRADATION IN ETHIOPIA

Total land area:1.13million km2

Average fertiliser use:17 kg/ha

Degraded land area:26%

People affected: 21 million, equal to 29% of the population

Hotspot characteristics: high population pressure on land and forests, farming on steep slopes and frequent food crises caused by unreliable rainfall

Loss of topsoil: one billion tons annually

Soil productivity losses: at least 20% over the last century in large parts of the country


ANNUAL COSTS

Soil erosion and nutrient loss from farming and grazing: $106 million

Deforestation: $23 million

Loss of livestock capacity: $10 million

Total: $139 million or equivalent to 4% of GDP


You can read the whole Montpellier Report here: http://ag4impact.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/MP_0106_Soil_Report_LR1.pdf