By Berhanu Gebremedhin and Dereje Legesse
The Livestock and Irrigations Value chain for Ethiopian Smallholders (LIVES) project and partners recently carried out a training of trainers (ToT) on Market-Oriented Extension (MOE) and Value Chain Development for agricultural extension agents in Oromia.
These extension agents, who are required to not only promote productivity and production but also provide marketing services to smallholders and their enterprises, are promoting MOE services that will be critical in commercializing agricultural production in Ethiopia.
Incorporating input and output market-related information, MOE services are an expanded version of the production-oriented extension services that have traditionally focused on technology promotion and productivity enhancement.
The LIVES team and partners trained 48 staff, including five women from Oromia’s zonal, district and regional level agricultural extension offices at a workshop in Ziway on 11-15 January 2016.
Facilitated by Berhanu Gebremedhin and Dereje Legesse of LIVES, the five-day event covered an introduction to MOE, basic concepts in agricultural marketing, value chains and the value chain development approach, agricultural market information services, facilitating market linkages and collective marketing.
Participants also worked together to develop and present actions plan on how they will scale out the training throughout the Oromia region.
LIVES organized the workshop in collaboration with the Oromia Agricultural Research Institute (OARI), the Oromia Bureau of Agriculture, the Oromia Livestock Development Agency and the Oromia Irrigation Development Authority.
LIVES and Ethiopia government partners hope these training will support on-going policy and practice change efforts that emphasize market-oriented extension (MOE) for the commercialization of smallholder agricultural production which will generate better incomes for the country’s small-scale farmers.
A similar workshop was organized in Tigray in collaboration with the Tigray Bureau of Agriculture & Rural Development. Workshops in the Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples’ (SNNP) and Amhara regions are scheduled for February and March 2016, respectively.