How green was our classroom
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CTA. 2003. How green was our classroom. Spore 104. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47906
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore104.pdf
If ever proof was needed that the impact of an on-the-spot study visit can be worth several times that of an abstract distance-learning seminar, here it is.
If ever proof was needed that the impact of an on-the-spot study visit can be worth several times that of an abstract distance-learning seminar, here it is. In late January 2003, while drought-prone parts of Ethiopia were suffering from acute food insecurity, and the world's press was grasping that food security is more than a question of the market, 16 specialists from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia were absorbed in an intensive study tour of small-scale irrigation around the country. In particular, they were looking at how to expand irrigation to mitigate the effects of drought and to increase cropping intensity. They clambered over dykes and channels, walked uphill and down dale, sat for hours with producers, drew lines in the soil and drew conclusions in the evening. The actual irrigation technology was but a small part of their focus: they were looking also at production systems, financial arrange-ments, marketing, policy and regulations, support systems and social and environmental issues. Among the questions that kept them busy - and continue to exercise their minds as they now transfer their lessons to their own working environment - were: How can farmers better modulate production and incomes by not all growing the same product? How can lending agencies get closer to farmers, to ease the credit process? And just what are the practical indicators that extension workers can use in their gender analyses, aimed at fostering more leadership roles for women? The study visit, organised by CTA with the support of the Tigray Water Resources Development Bureau, was a follow-up to the seminar 'Private sector participation and irrigation expansion in Africa', the report of which was announced in Spore 103.