Going South

Wolaita Soddo, Ethiopia

After trying to visit this far away regeneration site of the Forage Genebank of ILRI for many years, the right opportunity finally arrived. Whenever I had planned for it before, there was always either a meeting or a social commitment I did not want to give up or just too much work to be interrupted.

I have lately been uploading information on the crop genebank website. After adding so much text I am feeling the urgent need to make it friendlier and to add several attractive pictures to it, to illustrate several processes of the genebank. I have been asking many of the colleagues in other genebanks to send me pictures. Some did send a few, but still not enough. The website is growing quite a bit and there is a lot of information but some difficult to visualize. It does not illustrate the great diversity out there and the wonderful colors, sizes and shapes we have not only in each crop but even within the same variety.

A two day visit to the regeneration field in Soddo, to successfully accompany a pick up loaded with more than 1800 young seedlings of forage legumes (pre-germinated and virus tested in the screen houses in Addis Abeba) to be transplanted in the regeneration fields took at least 8 hours of careful driving through several potholes and yielded more than 300 photos of plants in pots, plants in field plots, flowers, pods and many others. About a 1/5 of them are going to be used to make a few series of flip books (check next week for more details!).

A few more photos of the beautiful countryside in Southern Ethiopia were also taken (to keep me busy during the long hours inside the car) and shown below.

Thinking about the photos, it took me much more time than I initially realized to take, download, select, label (many of them with the correct scientific names) and put watermarks and upload them into the website. I understand now better, why many of you do not often find the time to send me the photos I keep asking for… But I think when eventually you find the time it is really worth!

Trying to find some more information about Soddo, I found this disturbing history, told about 9 years ago

http://www.hostelworld.com/community/travelstory.php/StoryNO.4

I am not sure things are still the same after a few years but I am afraid they are…

MAJ

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