DSE/DITSL International Training Course-Workshop on "Ecofarming: Ecologically and Socially Sustainable Land Management" From November 16 - December 11, 1998 in Ethiopia

Sahle Tesfai


Under the sponsorship of the German government, the Food and Agriculture Development Center (ZEL) of the Gennan Foundation for International Development (DSE), in cooperation with the German Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture (DITSL), conducted an international workshop entitled "Ecofarming: Ecologically and Socially Sustainable Land Management", which was initiated on November 16, and was closed on Friday, December 11 , at the Wabe Shebelle Hotel in Addis Ababa.
The workshop took place at various locations in Addis Ababa, Debre Zeit, Sodere, Dodola, and Awassa, close to projects, research stations, and farmers' communities which were visited during the event.
The workshop gathered together 24 senior agricultural experts, coming from Ethiopia, Cameroun, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanazania and Uganda, who work in governmental and non-governmental organizations involved in rural development, planning, research, education, and extension. Mr. Roland Bunch, an internationally recognized advisor in ecofarming technologies, participatory technology development and extension, living in Honduras, Central America, guided the workshop as main lecturer and moderator, sharing with the participants the experiences of the hundreds of development institutions with which he has worked over the last thirty years in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Ethiopian scientists based at Debre Zeit, Melkassa, Alemaya, and Awassa, substantially contributed to the workshop, highlighting specific Ethiopian experiences. Unlike the so-called "modern", or conventional farming, which relies on a high level of inputs, such as chemical fertilizers and pesticides, ecofarming technologies are based on intensive research work done worldwide in the last Twenty years, which is incorporated indigenous farmers' knowledge and their own way of experimenting, to achieve locally appropriate, sustainable and economically viable solutions for their specific farming systems.

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