The main goal is to raise crop yields for local food security, and improve ecosystem services for farmers, their families and local communities.

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Together with local experts and administrative authorities, ISD is promoting ecological agriculture based on local inputs and improved natural resources management. The main goal is to raise crop yields for local food security, and improve ecosystem services for farmers, their families and local communities. To achieve these goals, ISD base it's projects on trainings, development of extension and promotional materials, experience sharing and materially support farmers. Throughout the process, we aim to support farmers to adapt and build resilience to climate change, encourage innovator farmers and means for scaling up good practices. Some of ours initiative among the farmers are:


Piloting a system of crop intensification

The System of Rice/ Crop Intensification (SRI/SCI) inolves growing seedlings of crops on beds and then planting the seedlings in rows with space between the plants in the row as well as between rows. This is a deliberate practice to reduce the risk of crop failure due to unreliable rainfall. This project was re-introduced to try the technique on the long-growing season crop (sorghum, finger-millet, etc). This is because the crops were replaced by the short-growing season crops due to the erratic rainfall.



Ethiopian agricultural system is a mixed agriculture of livestock and crop production practices. Today farmers are intercropping crops, vegetables, etc with trees in their farm land. This practice not only increase yields but also gives more animal feed, firewood, shade, construction material, farming tools and improve soil and water conservation.


Soil fertility enhancement (compost)

Soil fertility problem is very fundamental in the Ethiopian agriculture. Therefore, ISD has given many TOTs (training of trainers) for farmers, DAs & experts throughout its project areas on compost and vermi(earthworm)-compost preparation and use. All trainings include practical and theoretical aspects. The objective of the training is to build the capacity of experts and raise their awareness at woreda level on making and using quality and quantity of compost.



Bioslurry is the wet waste produced from a biogas digester plant that can be used to build healthy fertile soil for crop production. It comes from the decomposition of organic matter in a biogas digester plant.

Biogas is a low cost source of energy in the form of methane (CH4) that comes from the breakdown of materials such as animal manure, agricultural residues, organic industrial wastes, human waste and other organic materials.


Push-Pull technology

This is a technology applied to protect crops like sorghum and maize from the parasitic weed, striga, and the stem borer moth. The technology uses planting of desmodium intercropped with maize and sorghum to suppress striga and drive away egg-laying stem-borer moths. Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) or Sudan grass (Sorghum sudanensis) is planted around the farm to attract and trap the stem borers. The stem borers are more attracted to the grasses than maize or sorghum and they lay their eggs on the grass. But the Napier grass does not allow stem-borer larvae to mature. When the eggs hatch and the small larvae bore into the Napier grass stems, the plant produces a sticky substance that traps them and they die.


Supporting innovator farmers

This is mainly done to support innovator farmers to perform joint experimentation and to handle data or information well and to undergo expansion or scaling up strategies. .


Awareness raisingactivities

An experience sharing meeting focusing on environmental conservation among school communities, religious institutions and army members. The purpose of the meeting was to share good practices of the church, mosques, elementary school clubs and the army community as well as to create links for future endeavors.


Adaping to the effect of climate change

This project focuses on bee-keeping activities and growing multipurpose trees and shrubs. It helps to combine conservation with sustainable use of rehabilitated hills sides so that can be taken as agro-forestry by farmers and also provide job for landless or unemployed youth. With this project the capacity of the local Farmers’ Training Centers (FTCs) to provide services to their farmers is also improved. For economic sustainability, farmers and youth were supported to form cooperatives and develop value-added market chain for their honey and bees.


Resarch support

ISD also supports applied research in the field of Ecological Agriculture

Our Strategic Plan


ISD in the next five year strategic plan period will achieve the following programmatic and organizational objectives.

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We have comprised a collection of our works as well as other publications that may be of interest to you. If you have any questions or would like a copy of anything, please feel free to contact us.










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