As complementary to the one day EEA Second Oromia Regional Conference at Jimma, the Oromia Regional Planning and Development Commission (OPDC) organized a visit to different Agricultural Development Initiatives. EEA President and the CEO, regional representatives including the OPDC Commissioner and Deputy Head of the regional Finance Office; representatives of different zonal offices of Jima zone, and Jimma University visited rice cluster farming and apiculture in Shabe Sombo woreda of the zone.
Given that rice has been designated as the millennium crop and strategic crop for food security, the cluster farming was found to be promising. The region and the zone are extensively working on production with substantial increase in area cultivated from year-to-year.
Appreciating the exemplary effort of the region and the zone in terms of supporting rice cluster farming, EEA representatives commented on issues that deserve further attention. These include the need to quickly introduce rice technologies including varietal technologies, crop management practices, and rice harvesting/processing technologies. As the crop requires special threshing/processing machines, the need to quickly introduce and demonstrate the technology is necessary to encourage farmers to sustainably produce rice in the area. Furthermore, linking farmers to potential markets is also necessary as markets dictate productions. Diversification of household production should also be given special attention in view of the government’s nutrition sensitive agricultural production.
The team also visited an apiculture activity run by an organized returnees of the national defense force who were injured during the war in the northern part of the country. The region’s and zone’s effort to make the area a national hub for honey production and the successes that they have been registering from year to year were explained. Finally, the team visited an encouraging effort at tackling soil fertility through the promotion of Vermin compost before they were treated to well-deserved local coffee and refreshment.
Partnership and Communication Division