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Reversing the negative impacts of water on smallholder farmers cultivating vertisols in high rainfall areas
Reversing the negative impacts of water on smallholder farmers cultivating vertisols in high rainfall areas

Reversing the negative impacts of water on smallholder farmers cultivating vertisols in high rainfall areas

Our innovation, Aybar Broad Bed and furrow Maker (BBM), is an agricultural tool that shapes the land at planting in order to help smallholder farmers drain excess water from waterlogged vertisols. In the highlands of Ethiopia alone, there are 7.6million hectares of vertisols out of which only 1.9 million is cultivated mainly because of waterlogging problem. The innovation made it possible to use hitherto unavailable land for farming while farmers reported up to 300% increment in yield in traditionally cultivated fields. The technology also reduces the production and release of methane, which is 21 times more potent than CO2 as a GHG. We have so far sold 130, 000 Aybar BBMs.
Ethiopia


Reversing the negative impacts of water on smallholder farmers cultivating vertisols in high rainfall areas

Dr Melesse Temesgen

Melesse Temesgen holds a PhD degree in Agricultural Engineering from Delft University of Technology and UNESCO-IHE and (The Netherlands). He got his first degree in 1984 from Addis Ababa University, the then Alemaya College of Agriculture, with distinction in Agricultural Engineering. He worked as a Junior Research Officer in the then Institute of Agricultural Research for one year. After two years of post graduate studies, he got his MSc degree in 1987 in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (UK). He returned to Ethiopia and joined the same institution where he worked in different positions as a researcher for 15 years. He directed the national agricultural mechanization research during the last 4 years of his service. He has also served as part time lecturer at the then Nazret Technical College now Adama University and at Haromaya University. He has trained agricultural experts and farmers within and out side Ethiopia. He has developed several types of agricultural implements for smallholder farmers. In 2002, he won the first national award for outstanding achievement in science and technology in the Presence of the then President of Ethiopia. He has also represented Ethiopia in the African Conservation Tillage Network during 1998 – 2002.

In the year 2002, the Dutch Foundation for the Advancement of Tropical Research (WOTRO) awarded him a PhD scholarship. He started his PhD studies at UNESCO-IHE, Institute for Water Education and Delft University of Technology, Department of Water Resources, in The Netherlands. His field research was financed by the Regional Land Management Unit (RELMA) of Sida and by the International Foundation for Science (IFS).

His PhD thesis was titled “Conservation Tillage Systems and Water Productivity Implications for Smallholder Farmers in Semi-arid Ethiopia”. He served as a post-doctoral research scientist at UNESCO-IHE, Institute for Water Education and Addis Ababa. His responsibilities included undertaking one of the research projects dealing with the effect of conservation tillage on the performance and adoption of soil conservation structures in the highlands of upper Blue Nile and an additional task of coordinating the research carried out by the 7 PhD researchers.

He has served as an Assistant Professor in Addis Ababa Institute of Technology, Addis Ababa University between February 2011 and September 2013. He has supervised several PhD and MSc students. On October 27, 2013, he won another national award for the innovation of Aybar BBM, which is mainly used to drain excess water from highland vertisols but also can be used to conserve soil moisture in dry areas. On May 5, 2014 he won the special prize for the best innovation with the highest social impact organized by the African innovation Foundation after competing with 700 innovators drawn from 42 countries. He has been serving as the General Manager and Principal Researcher of Aybar Engineering PLC since September 2013.



Stand F20 (pav. 6) - Melesse Temesgen

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Dati aggiornati il 04/12/2018 - 10.56.27

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