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Home / News / SWEETPOTATO FARMERS SUPPORT THE SCALING OF TRIPLE S TECHNOLOGY IN ETHIOPIA

SWEETPOTATO FARMERS SUPPORT THE SCALING OF TRIPLE S TECHNOLOGY IN ETHIOPIA

“Seven to 10 years ago, sweetpotato was known as ‘the father of children’ because it was available throughout the year. Because the soil had moisture content during the dry season, we were able to conserve our vines by covering them with mulch,” began Merid Mengesha, an elder in Yayike village in the Mirab Abaya district of southern Ethiopia.

“But that is not the case anymore, the soil is dry for long periods causing all vines to dry before the next planting season. This technology has come at the right time,” he said to the room full of participants who had gathered to participate in a Triple S training session being conducted by village development agents.

Merid’s comments reflect the situation of many sweetpotato farmers in the region, who were struggling to produce, access or afford vines to plant their fields with sweetpotato at the beginning of the farming season.

Triple S technology allows farmers to store sweetpotato roots through the dry season in a container of sand. As the rainy season nears, these preserved roots can then be planted in seedbeds and watered to sprout healthy planting material ready for sowing at the optimal time. The simple and affordable system has proven to be effective and is now being scaled to farmers across districts in southern Ethiopia through the support of the Scaling Fund of the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB).

The Triple S PLUS project aims to reach 25,000 households in six districts in this region and is co-funded by RTB, the Bureau of Agriculture and Natural Resource Development (BoARND), People In Need (PIN), and the SASHA projects.

As part of the scaling approach, scientists from the International Potato Center (CIP) train district officials and village development agents on the benefits of the technology and how to use it. The development agents then identify and train Triple S ‘champion households’ and village leaders, who are in turn tasked with training at least 50 households in their community.

 

Farmers listen attentively during a training at a Triple S Champion Household. Kolla Barana, Mirab Abaya. Photo: F. Asfaw/CIP

As part of the scaling approach, scientists from the International Potato Center (CIP) train district officials and village development agents on the benefits of the technology and how to use it. The development agents then identify and train Triple S ‘champion households’ and village leaders, who are in turn tasked with training at least 50 households in their community.

The Triple S ‘champion households’ are provided with training materials that they can use to pass along their knowledge to others at the Village Training Center and in the compounds of champion households.

Teferi Choramo and his wife Tolise Manise, are one such household and are training other farmers in Yayike. The couple were introduced to Triple S three years ago by CIP scientist Mihiretu Cherinet and have since successfully stored roots in sand and sprouted them to produce planting material in time for each planting season. This has positively impacted their household food security as well as income through the sale of roots.

Continue reading the original blog on CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers, and Bananas 

Blog by Rosemary Kihiu, Communications, KM and Reporting Manager, and Holly Holmes, Communications Consultant

About Rosemary Kihiu

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