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CultivAid is an Israeli not for profit organization, specializing in capacity building and knowledge and technology transfer initiatives with a focus on the agricultural and water sectors. The organization focuses on the construction of local knowledge infrastructures for the purpose of food security and economic stability.
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To support our activities or to learn more about our work please contact Info@CultivAid.org
The reality of this COVID-19 pandemic has directly affected all of us.  In Israel we have been locked down for over a month, we are practicing social distancing and are restricted from visiting our loved ones.  Even during Passover, the celebration of the exodus from Egypt, from slavery, we had no choice but to celebrate individually in our homes, without large gatherings, without extended family members. 

The events across the globe make you think about what is happening.  Is the world/humanity entering a new era?  Maybe, nature is sending us a message that is related to the climate crisis, maybe planet earth is showing us how connected we all are and the dire need for global solidarity and compassion?  This new reality reinforces that regardless of nationality, ethnicity or social status, we are all subject to the same rules of mortality.  

Our work has been affected, and our Israeli staff has left Ethiopia and returned home.  However, our local team of agronomists remain hard at work and are continuing to grow healthy and nutritious food and to maintain our sites.  The crisis has demonstrated that building local capacity with boots on the ground is the key to long term development.  

We hope that in the coming months, solutions will be implemented that will allow us to get back to work at full speed, scaling up our model, introducing new technologies and building the required capacity for the transformation of the agricultural sector. We have hope that this global event will highlight the importance of developing agricultural ecosystems, value chains; and that this is long over due.  We send our compassion and prayers to all those affected by the virus and dream of a brighter tomorrow.  

Water Purification system, West Belesa Amhara. 

Sustainable Development Goal #6: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all. Clean water is a basic human need, and one that should be easily accessible to all.

 
In February 2020, CultivAid installed a water treatment system in Amhara.  This is part of a pilot program under the Sektoa Declaration, the federal government of Ethiopia’s commitment towards ending malnutrition among children. The system is a NUFILTRATION, solar powered water treatment (https://www.nufiltration.com/).  Together with Gondar University, the Amhara Bureau of Water and the regional program delivery unit, the system was installed in West Belesa, Ethiopia.
NUFILTRATION collects used dialyzers from dialysis centers, sterilizes them according to the strictest FDA standards and installs the clean and pure reused elements in engineered units able to filtrate and purify water at the highest standards, at an extremely competitive price.  
The pilot system installed is powered by solar energy enabling off-grid operation.  The system is designed to provide about 100 cubic meters/day of potable water and can supply water to 2,000 people according to 50 liters/person. In the  larger villages, additional facilities can be added in a modular manner.
The program was accomplished with the support of Nufiltration, the Israeli Embassy in Ethiopia, and Big Win Philanthropy.

Avocado Training in Mekelle, Tigray, Ethiopia

Avocado has enormous potential in Ethiopia as a cash crop. This presents an incredible economic opportunity for export and increasing the flow of foreign currency to Ethiopia.  For the past 5 years, CultivAid has been working to develop local knowledge in the sector.  This includes two demonstration sites, research activities, open days and short term training sessions.  As part of our on-going work we conducted a three-day intensive training covering various aspects of avocado cultivation, orchard management and irrigation. The training included over 70 participants from across Ethiopia, from both the private and public sectors.

The training was organized together our local partners, the Tigray Development Association, and Elshadai relief and development association who have helped establish the foundations of our work.  The training was conducted by one of Israel’s most dynamic avocado experts, Oran Reuveni.  Oran is a grower from Kibbutz Ashdot Yaacov near the sea of Galilee.  His visit enabled us to further our assessment of Avocado in Tigray and to strengthen our collaboration in developing a strong avocado sector in Ethiopia.

 Hebrew University and University of Maryland visit to Bahir Dar, Amhara, Ethiopia

 
At the end of February delegates from CultivAid, the Robert H Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Rehovot and the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of Maryland participated in a study tour to Bahir Dar with the goal of developing collaboration with Bahir Dar University and Amhara Agricultural Research Institute-ARARI.

The visit focused on  a variety of  issues including  the Koga irrigation scheme, Lake Tana, seeing and understanding first hand the practical research, agricultural programs and the needs of researchers, farmers and the agricultural ecosystem of the region.

Through this visit the participants gained valuable insight into various research facilities, the challenges and variety of perspectives, and the need to build local capacity.  These included visiting the Bicolo Avocado Nursery, the Gilgel Abay river, research sites at Kudumi and getting an in depth understanding of the KOGA irrigation project. The visitors received a unique glimpse into the knowledge infrastructure in Bahir Dar, allowing them to consider what type of programs could be developed to further the support.  Our hope is to develop a program together with these institutions and others, for knowledge based development. Stay with us for updates.
 

Vegetable Seedling Nursery Development, Tigray, Ethiopia

 
Ethiopia’s agricultural sector is in the process of transforming.  The changes in the sector are visible in such places as the Raya Valley in southern Tigray, where a new generation of growers are rising up to take on new challenges.
In Mekelle, Together with the Tigray Development Association our seedling nursery has been producing seedlings that are being sold to farmers. CultivAid has been developing programs to support the capacity building and knowledge development of the sector which strives to promote income generation, job creation and food and nutritional security.

We have been training farmers in advanced agricultural methods, irrigation systems and new crop varieties at our demonstration sites.  We understand that it is time for the next step and have started addressing the supply chain.  In Mekelle, our seedling nursery has been producing seedlings that are then sold to farmers.  Seedling nurseries are available in various parts of Ethiopia, especially near Addis, but there are no commercial nurseries in Tigray. 
Our nursery at Kallamino demonstrates the need for supply chains, seedling production and access to high quality seeds is an important component of the agricultural transformation. 
We are taking orders for seedlings and seeking to strengthen partnerships in this sub-sector
For information or to place an order contact Hagos at 09-62666653
 

STEM Water & Earth Science Course, Bahir Dar, Amhara, Ethiopia

 
At the end December 2019 CultivAid implemented a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic) training in Bahir Dar.  The training was in collaboration with STEMpower and Bahir Dar University.  The 5 day event had over 20 trainees from various universities across Ethiopia.  The teachers are expected to implement the course at Bahir Dar and to scale up the course to STEM Centers in Ethiopia.  

The course, Water and Earth Science provided a hands-on experience, demonstrating how science can help us understand the world around us and find solutions to challenges we are facing as a society.  The course is the first of two being developed, with the second course 'The Science of Agriculture' being finalized in the coming weeks. The training was conducted by Professor Nir Orion together with Ron Ben Shalom, both from the Weizmann Institute of Science. 


Our work STEM related work is a unique partnership developed with STEMpower through the vision and generosity of Mark Gelfand and we wish to highlight the important work being accomplished through Mark in Ethiopia. For more info visit https://stempower.org/

Wheat Development in Ethiopia

 
Currently Ethiopia’s yearly wheat consumption is 6.3 million tons; of which 1.7 million tons are imported and the remaining is grown domestically.  More than 90% of Ethiopia’s wheat production is grown on small farms without irrigation, mainly in the highlands. Ethiopia is aiming for a paradigm shift - from a wheat importer to a wheat exporter, as the Ethiopian Institute for Agricultural Research (EIAR) objective is to eliminate dependency on wheat import and turn wheat into a source of foreign currency.

In January of 2020, CultivAid joined a delegation with participants from EAIR and MASHAV to field visits in Melkassa and Kulumsa in Oromia, and the Dubti and Asaita in Afar. The visit highlighted recommendations related to varieties, soil mapping and fertility, agrotechnical methods and irrigation. As part of this effort, we seek to support the implementation of successful programs that can utilize our vast experience in Ethiopia while enhancing the relationship between the Ethiopian and Israeli agricultural sectors.  
 We would like to thank Telman Greenhouses for continued technical support and services throughout the years.
Telman Greenhouses specializes in the production of greenhouses and turnkey projects. 

Staff Profile: Roxanne Halper

Roxanne Halper

Roxanne has recently joined the CultivAid team as our new office manager.  She holds a BSc in Conservation and Resource studies from U.C. Berkeley.  She was a farmer for many years working in field crops and viticulture.  A career change led her to 10 years at the Weizmann Institute in an administrative position. She comes to us with a range of experience in the international development arena following 3 years working at NALA Foundation , an NGO focused on public health issues in Ethiopia. 

We are excited to have Roxanne join our team and hope she strengthens our organization and enables the expansion of our work to new levels. 

 

Be sure to keep up to date by following us:

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Contact us at Info@CultivAid.org

We wish to thank our partners and supporters

 
                     

   



 
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CultivAid · Wietz Center · Rehovot 61000 · Israel

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