Saturday, June 15, 2024
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SNV, BASF partner to boost small holder farmers in Tigray, Amhara

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Four thousand four hundred farmers in East Amhara and Tigray are set to benefit from high-quality seeds that will enable them to produce15 million kg of onions as part of SNV’s Farmer Field Schools, Conflict Recovery Program.
SNV which partnered with BASF for this particular project is said to receive high quality red onion seeds, to which it will then distribute to small holders farmers in conflict and drought affected areas, through its Horti-LIFE program that works with the Ministry of Agriculture on establishing Farmer Field Schools (FFS).
This week, BASF handed over to SNV the high quality onion seeds to which each participating family will receive seeds for 0.1hectare of onions allowing them to restart production in the conflict and drought affected areas. The produce is said to be primarily for home consumption, and will allow farming families to restart their livelihoods. The collaboration between SNV and BASF will enable the farmers to produce in total 15 million kilograms of onions thereby increasing the supply to local rural markets.
To make this happen, BASF is offering Nunhems®Santire F1 onion seeds to SNV Ethiopia who will distribute the seeds free of charge to farmers in Tigray and East Amhara. On top of offering the seeds, BASF, as part of its social engagement, has doubled its efforts by donating the same amount of seeds for free to the SNV Farmer Field School program.
“We’re not only active in the vegetable seeds business in Ethiopia, but also strongly committed to the communities and society with different social engagement activities,” said Ben Depraetere, Managing Director of BASF’s vegetable seeds business in Ethiopia.
“We are proud to work together with SNV and join forces to support thousands of small holder farming families in the North of Ethiopia allowing them to restart their livelihoods,” BASF’s MD explained.
“SNV likes to acknowledge the very generous contribution of BASF. We know their seeds to be of high quality due to our cooperation on Zonal Variety Demonstrations that we organize every year with all horticultural seed importers. The seeds fit very well in our Horti-LIFE program that has been promoting horticultural hybrid seeds via FFS,” explained Julie Graham, SNV Ethiopia Country Director.
Since 2016 SNV has worked with the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture to establish the FFS. Its members over the years have learnt about Good Agricultural Practices by observing and discussing the impact of an innovation package (of seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, and other technologies) that is piloted on small learning plots inside the regular fields of elected lead farmers. This has accordingly enabled the farmers to improve their productivity.
As survey in 2021 showed, FFS members got 34% higher yields, and 43% higher incomes. In concrete numbers: Farmer Field Schools, members earn US$ 545 more from 0.6 ha. At present SNV-Horti-LIFE operates in 81 woredas (districts) reaching 40, 000 farmers per year via 1,300 FFS.

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