The Rapid Institutional Capacity Assessment (RICA) that CDSF conducted in July 2015 identified gaps in mainstreaming gender and nutrition in the implementation of AGP 2. The assessment found, among other gaps, that women’s participation in project activities is limited. The study ascribed the lack of participation to cultural barriers, to women having too many responsibilities and less control over land and income than men, among other barriers.
The RICA also found that even though AGP has identified promising gender-responsive agricultural technologies, it has not successfully introduced the technologies to women Common Interest Groups (CIGs) and women farmers.
To solve the problems, AGP 2 CDSF took the initiative to facilitate the identification, prioritizing and scaling-up of gender, nutrition and CSA-sensitive technologies by involving relevant stakeholders at federal, regional and zonal levels. Working with federal and four regional AGPs, CDSF identified 18 gender and nutrition sensitive technologies at the national level.
From among the identified technologies, the Amhara Region CDSF, together with the region’s AGP 2, decided to scale up the ‘farmer women self-help group honey production and marketing value chain’ project that contributes to gender and nutrition mainstreaming. Two Non-Government Organizations, namely Oxfam GB and Facilitator for Change implemented the project that was selected as a best practice.
To scale-up the best practices effectively, the Amhara CDSF Office, in cooperation with Digital Green, produced a 21-minute documentary video. Together, they drafted Job Embedded Support (JES) and scaling-up strategies and validated them in a workshop that was conducted in November, 2018. Following the workshop, a Technical Working Group (TWG) comprising five members drawn from the region’s Livestock Agency, Bureau of Agriculture (BoA) Extension Directorate, Oxfam GB, Digital Green and CDSF was formed.
The TWG planned to use the best practice video to establish 100 women farmers’ self-help groups that have a total of 2000 women farmers in 20 kebeles in four AGP woredas. With technical support from CDSF, the Livestock Resources Development and Promotion Agency (LRDPA) fully took the responsibility of scaling-up the best practice.
LRDPA also conducted a consultative workshop from March 07-08, 2018 where the scaling-up strategy was further enriched. During the workshop, CDSF distributed twenty eight flash discs loaded with the best practice video to the 20 kebeles, 4 woredas and the regional LRDPA offices. The plan aimed to organize five women self-help groups of 20 members each in each kebele.
The innovative video-based Farmer-to-Farmer learning approach has proved to be an effective way to promote technologies and practices for quick adoption among the farming communities. The LRDPA line office has planned to scale -up the best practice using video.
All four target woredas have now included the farmer women self-help honey production and marketing value chain best practice scaling-up activity in their regular plan and AGP annual plan for EFY 2011. The video is also being used to train women farmers in Farmer Training Centers (FTCs) in the target woredas with Pico projectors that Digital Green has made available.
Debebe Admasu, Head of LRDPA had the following to say about the use of video for scaling- up best practices.
“The use of video for Farmer-to-Farmer learning should be strengthened as it has a number of advantages. Farmers enjoy watching video of fellow farmers talking about their experiences. Previous experiences show that, more often than not, written materials are left on shelves unread. I believe that this video should also be used in all regions and not be limited to AGP woredas only.”