AAU launches project called CASCAPE to boost agricultural productivity in Ethiopia

The Addis Ababa University (AAU) on Friday launched a project aimed at scaling up agricultural production through research and capacity building. Project National Coordinator, Dr. Eyasu Elias said the project, Capacity Building for Scaling Up Evidence Based Best Practices in Agricultural Production in Ethiopia (CASCAP), will help to disseminate research based best agricultural practices among farmers. According to him, the project will be implemented in the coming five years in 30 selected woredas across the country. Dr. Eyasu said the project is expected to boost productivity per farmer by three fold through disseminating seeds suitable for the respective areas. It will be carried out with an outlay of 11 million Euros assistance from Wageningen University of the Netherlands. Apart from the AAU, the Universities of Hawassa, Jimma, Haromaya, Mekele and Bahir Dar will implement the project. Project Deputy Coordinator, Dr. Degefa Tolossa on his part said the aim of CASCAP is to support the efforts of the government to increase agricultural productivity in a sustainable manner in order to boost agricultural growth and ensure food security. Dr. Degefa said the project links researchers and farmers to seek solution to problems related to agricultural production at community and household level.

Addis Ababa University (AAU) has been added to work in the AGP woredas in the central highlands of Ethiopia (mainly in the Shoa and Arsi zones of Oromiya regional state). The main reason for an additional partner was that some important farming systems (e.g., the teff belt, the maize belt, and the wheat belt) were missing in the previous CASCAPE setup. Currently, AAU has recruited 5 innovators. Organisational set up including the establishment of Steering Committee and signing MoU among partners (i.e., Oromiya Bureau of Agriculture; Oromiya Agricultural research Institute and AAU) is in progress. The Oromiya AGP office has facilitated the selection of 5 intervention woredas for CASCAPE under AAU. These include Munsa of Arsi zone; Chefe Donsa of East Shoa zone, Girar Jarso of North Shoa zone; and Bako woreda of North-west Shoa zone. AAU has agreed to host the national Coordination Unit at its Akakai Campus (College of Development Studies).

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