Institutionalized agricultural platforms are imperative for effective implementation of Sustainable Agricultural Intensification (SAI), Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock said.
Speaking at the third National Learning Alliance for SAI workshop Wednesday, Wondale Habtamu Agriculture Extension Director General at the Ministry indictated that currently more than 250 NGOs are engaged in the sector.
12.7 million hectares of land is used for farming throughout the country and there are still concerns about land scarcity and SAI is one of the solutions that the government has given due attention on its agricultural policy, according to Wondale.
Meanwhile, Wondale noted that the efforts on SAI need to be supported with more institutionalized platforms which could bring several stakeholders together on their aspiration to maximize the benefit of the Nation.
"The contribution of different actors in production and productivity, would be possible to benefit the small holder farmers specially women, if it is led in collaboration. Partners would assure sustainable development when they are gathered in a platform that provides them with new knowledge and a chance for collaboration," he added.
At the workshop it was indicated that most agricultural platforms are failing because they are not institutionalized and do not involve the right actors. In order to ensure food security, agricultural platforms must also be inclusive and taken seriously, said, Dr. Azage Tegegne, Animal Scientist at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). According to him, if platforms do not involve the smallholders themselves and consider their indigenous ways of learning, they could not be effective.
The National Learning Alliance for SAI, is a platform initiated by the ILRI and its members are exploring how the gains made by the government in regenerating and rehabilitating land and environment for the benefits of smallholder farmers. Several stakeholders have been sharing their research and project outcomes in the NLA workshops.