National Sorghum Research Coordination holds HOPE-2 Project national review and planning meeting


The national sorghum research coordination of EIAR held a national review and planning meeting for the Harnessing Opportunities for Productivity Enhancement (HOPE) of Sorghum and Millets in sub-Saharan Africa - Phase 2 Project at Melkassa Agricultural Research Center (MARC) from March 17 to 18, 2017. Delegates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), sorghum and socio-economics researchers, project collaborators and other invited guests participated in the meeting. The project was launched last year on May, 2016 with a financial support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to be implemented in Amhara, Oromia and Tigray regions in collaboration with the project partner ICRISAT. 

The project reviewed sorghum and millet improvement research activities, sorghum seed production and delivery, pre-extension demonstration and popularization of the different sorghum varieties based on the performance report presented by objective coordinators and project collaborators from the Amhara, Oromia and Tigray regions. Based on the progresses and lesson learnt from the first-year implementation, the coordinators and the collaborators have planned research, seed production and distribution, and pre-extension demonstration and pre-scaling up activities for the coming year. 

Dr. Mohammed Yesuf, Director of Melkassa Research Center, in his opening remarks emphasized that such project review and planning workshops are very important to evaluate the progress of the project and to draw lessons for upcoming project implementation periods. The project Coordinator and the National Sorghum Research Coordinator, Dr. Taye Tadesse, made a presentation on the overall sorghum research and development, in general, and that of the HOPE-2 project status and progresses, in particular. 

As per the Coordinator’s explanation, the project has made significant progresses in the first implementation year in its four project objectives, i.e., in sorghum improvement for major biotic and abiotic stresses, strengthening sorghum seed system through community-based seed production system, demonstration and popularization of released sorghum varieties, capacity building of researchers and extension workers on improved sorghum production techniques and gender mainstreaming activities. 

Comments and questions were forwarded by collaborating federal and regional research institutes, bureaus of agriculture, private organizations and farmers’ cooperative in the project’s target areas of the country. The workshop was concluded with an emphasis on the need to strengthen partnership and integration among the project collaborators for an effective project implementation and achievement.