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1511 - The System of Tef Intensification

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Presented By: Tareke Berhe, Ayele G. Ayetenfisu,
Zewdie Gebretsadik, and Norman Uphoff
Title: The System of Tef Intensification:
Opportunities for greater food security in Ethiopia, and elsewhere, through modifications in crop management
Date: October 13, 2015
Venue: 2nd International Conference on Global Food Security, Cornell University

Published in: Technology
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1511 - The System of Tef Intensification

  1. 1. The System of Tef Intensification: Opportunities for greater food security in Ethiopia, and elsewhere, through modifications in crop management Tareke Berhe, Ayele G. Ayetenfisu, Zewdie Gebretsadik, and Norman Uphoff Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; and SRI International Network and Resources Center (SRI-Rice), Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA 2nd International Conference on Global Food Security Oct. 12-14, 2015 – Ithaca, NY
  2. 2. Food security in Ethiopia is a major challenge – having one of the highest rates of food insecurity Tef grain is the most valued staple food – the base for Ethiopia’s national favorite food injera, the renowned sourdough flatbread served with meat or vegetable stew Tef is becoming appreciated worldwide as a health food. Supply of tef does not match demand, so its price is high. Many poor households cannot afford to consume the tef that they produce, selling it to buy courser grain to eat. Production is constrained by poverty so producers can hardly afford agricultural inputs, have mostly poor soils, and climate is adverse with erratic rainfall and frequent storm damage
  3. 3. Lodging is a major problem with broadcasted tef due to its high planting density. This creates pre-harvest losses of grain, which is dropped, with resulting lowering of yield
  4. 4. Varietal differences continue to be important, but changes in crop management practices can greatly increase yields. This is true for crops generally, but here we focus on tef. Agroecological principles and practices can elicit more productive and robust phenotypes from given crop genotypes -- by obtaining fuller expression of crops’ genetic potentials Crops with better-developed root systems are more able to withstand drought and other climate stresses Also achieve improved fertility and resilience of soil systems, thanks to beneficial soil organisms, from microbes to earthworms. These improve the soil’s structure and functioning, including greater absorption and retention of water in the soil Also, plants have more resistance to damage from pests and diseases
  5. 5. System of Tef Intensification (STI) methods elicit more productive phenotypes from available genotypes, both local and improved
  6. 6. Matured tef with full heads of grain under STI management
  7. 7. STI grew out of conversation in July 2008, discussing the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) and its applications to wheat and finger millet in India • Trials in 2008-09 by Berhe with a grant from Sasakawa Africa Association  seminar report at Cornell in 2009 • Expanded trials at Debre Zeit and Mekelle in 2009-10 by Berhe and Gebretsadik with a grant from Oxfam America • Further trials in 2010-11 with government support and interest; Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) with support from BMGF and IFPRI planned expansion • From 2011-12, trials and evaluations continued, with extension efforts ramped up year by year • By 2014-15, farmer use reached 2.2 million with goal set of >5 million farmers using STI methods within 2-3 years
  8. 8. Year Area (mill. ha) Production (mill. tons) STI/TIRR farmers Natl. yield (tons ha-1) TIRR yield (tons ha-1) 2008/0 9 1st trials (SAA) 2.5 3.0 -- 1.2 -- 2009/1 0 Further trials (Oxfam) 2.6 3.1 -- 1.2 -- 2010/1 1 Further trials (ATA accepts) 2.8 3.4 -- 1.3 -- 2011/1 2 ATA demos 2.7 3.4 1,400 1.3 2.1 2012/1 3 ATA extension 2.7 3.7 167,000 1.4 2.4 2013/1 4 ATA / Agr Min 3.0 4.4 1.3 mill 1.5 2.7 2014/1 ATA / Agr Min 3.0 4.7 2.2 mill 1.6 2.8 National data on area, production and yield of tef
  9. 9. VARIETY SOWING METHOD PELLETING PRACTICE YIELD (Kg/Ha) Cross 37 Broadcast None 1,014 Broadcast Yes 483 20 cm x 20 cm None 3,390 20 cm x 20 cm Yes 5,109 Cross 387 Broadcast None 1,181 Broadcast Yes 1,036 20 cm x 20 cm None 4,142 20 cm x 20 cm Yes 4,385 1st Tef Trials with Pelleting ( Synergize = Zn + N + P ) and Spacing, Debre Zeit, Ethiopia, 2008
  10. 10. Transplanting 10-day-old seedlings Field at 10 days after transplanting Debre Zeit experiments, 2009 Field at 4 weeks after transplanting Field at 8 weeks after transplanting
  11. 11. STI tef plants ready for harvest at Debre Zeit research station, 2009
  12. 12. AVERAGE TEF GRAIN YIELD BY PLANTING METHOD, 2012, WITH DIFFERENT SEEDING RATES (30 to 0.4 kg/ha) 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 30 BC 5 BC 5 Row 0.4 TP GRAIN YIELD (tn) 30 kg/ha broadcasting of seed; 5 kg/ha broadcasting of seed; 5 kg/ha row planting of seed; 0.4 kg/ha transplanted seedlings
  13. 13. Maximum Yields from the Different Planting Methods in 2012 Trials Quintals per hectare 60 50 Transplanting + Fertilizer blends Up to 66 Transplanting Row planting National average 12-15 Traditional on-farm production methods (e.g., broadcasting, 30 kg/ha seed rate) New row planting technology with reduced seed rate (5-10 kg/ha) New transplanting technology Transplanting technology combined with fertilizers with micronutrients * Yields are average yield for National Average and maximum yield for Row planting, Transplanting, and Fertilizer blends Source: Field visits, Sasakawa Global research, ATA Tef Program team analysis
  14. 14. TIRR is a productivity-increasing package of practices progressively being adopted by farmers since 2011 -- 1.3 million farmers in 2013-14; 2.2 million in 2014-15 TefT Row planting (20 cm row spacing, instead of broadcasting)R Improved variety (Quncho or other improved seed variety, instead of local variety)I Reduced seed rate (3-5 kg/ha, instead of 30-50 kg/ha)R  TIRR stands for the following elements:  “TIRR” is a catchy name because it has the same pronunciation as one of the famous Ethiopian months -- “Tir”
  15. 15. 26.6 18.4 15.3 44% TIRR package with seed rate of 10 kg/ha Traditional planting with seed rate of 24 kg/ha and more CSA national average* with seed rate of 30kg/ha +74% Tef yield comparisons by planting methods and seed rates Average yield in Qtl/ha Source: 2013 Data from 39 Woredas and 1288 farmers in Amhara, Oromia, SNNP and Tigray regions: (collected July 2013-January 2014) Note 1: Analysis includes data from 1003 farmers (omitting error/outliers from the total data set of 1288) Note 2: Traditional tef planting refers to use of local seed varieties, broadcasting, and higher seed rate (20-50 kg/ha) * CSA-Crop Production Forecast Sample Survey, 2013/14 (2006 E.C.) TIRR package increased yield by 44% compared to the traditional tef planting and by 74% when compared to the national average Data showed that TIRR package farmers were using a seed rate of 10 kg/ha, although the recommendation was for only 5 kg/ha which should give better results
  16. 16. TEF PACKAGE AVERAGE YIELDS BY REGION AND BY PLANTING METHOD, 2012: Average yield increase of ca. 70% over the national average (167,000 farmers) Average grain yield by planting method Quintals/hectare • Data were collected from ~15,800 validating farmers (and some control farmer groups) to determine the results of new technologies • For the 15,790 farmers, average yields for row planting + transplanting increased by ~70% from national average (21.7 versus 12.6 qtls/ha) • As the chart shows, there is still much work to be done to introduce and manage transplanting to realize potential yield gains Source: 2012 Data from Regional, Zonal and Woreda administration staff (collected Feb-April 2013) 17 12 16 21222122 18 20 2323 Amhara SNNPOromia Tigray N/A Broadcasting Row planting Transplanting
  17. 17. Broadcasted tef plants on left compared with transplanted STI tef plants on right Management improvements in line with the agroecological principles and insights from SRI and STI can benefit also many other crops: finger millet, wheat, sugarcane, maize, many legumes, some vegetables
  18. 18. System of Wheat Intensification (SWI) in Bihar state of India – wheat crop in these two fields is the same age and same variety
  19. 19. Sustainable Sugarcane Intensification (SSI) in Cuba and India -- yields of 100-150 t ha-1 instead of 35-50 t ha-1
  20. 20. Resistance to both biotic and abiotic stresses seen in rice: Fields in East Java, Indonesia, hit by both brown planthopper (BPH) and by storm damage (typhoon): rice field on left was managed with standard practices; field on right is organic SRI Modern improved variety (Ciherang) – no yield Traditional aromatic variety (Sintanur) - 8 t ha-1
  21. 21. Much more needs to be researched and tested – SCI, SRI, STI, SWI, SSI… is a work in progress • We know that innovations in management which enhance (a) the growth of plants’ root systems and their health, and (b) the functioning of the soil systems in which they grow -- including nurturing of the plant-soil microbiome -- • Can make quick, low-cost and sustainable improvements in crop production and in global food security • The input-dependence of most our current agricultural technology limits its accessibility to most households whose food insecurity is greatest  need new directions • Future climatic and other conditions for agriculture will be quite different from those of the 20th century, so our
  22. 22. Challenges for making fuller use of STI/TIRR opportunities to improve food security and reduce poverty in Ethiopia • We need to get farmers to change their thinking and behavior from traditional broadcasting to adopting row planting with reduced plant populations, and • For the highest productivity, we need to get farmers to take up the transplanting of young tef seedlings, etc. • We need to overcome also the lack of row-planting implements that are suitable for smallholder farmers • Also, should remedy the shortage of improved tef seed suitable for different agroecological regions of Ethiopia
  23. 23. THANK YOU ATA: www.ata.gov.et SRI-Rice: ntu@cornell.edu http://sri.cals.cornell.edu/ aboutsri/othercrops

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