Bayer supports smallholder farmers in Ethiopia
Bayer has announced support access to high-quality vegetable seeds for smallholder farmers in Ethiopia
14 February 2016
Bayer has signed a cooperation with the non-profit organization “Fair Planet” and will participate in the “Bridging the Seed Gap” project in Ethiopia. The project is designed to provide new opportunities to smallholder farmers. The announcement was made on the trial fields of the project at Dire Dawa, a city to the east of the capital Addis Ababa, and in Dire Dawa itself in the presence of stakeholders from the Ethiopian government, Haramaya University and farmers.
The “Bridging the Seed Gap” project is a unique and long-term technology transfer process established by Fair Planet in collaboration with leading global vegetable seed companies, national and international stakeholders such as governments, universities and farmers’ unions, and public and private donors.
The project gives smallholder farmers facilitated access to seed of high-quality vegetable varieties that are suitable for their needs. At the same time, it supplies training to the farmers on how to use these seeds with minimal changes to their traditional production practices.
Bayer will participate at all four project locations through its Vegetable Seeds organization. In addition to Dire Dawa, similar projects are being developed in Harar, Butajira and Gondar. During the 2016 growing seasons, selected varieties from the Nunhems tomato, hot pepper and onion range will be tested in variety and cultivation trials. In 2017, the best-performing varieties from Bayer and the other vegetable seed companies will be cultivated by selected smallholder farmers who will demonstrate the advantages to other farmers in their own villages and regions.
“Access to high-quality vegetable seed varieties and know-how is essential to improve the economic growth of smallholder farmers in Ethiopia,” explains Vicente Navarro, Managing Director M&S of Vegetable Seeds. “But this can only be successful with a holistic approach and through collaboration. We believe in the setup that Fair Planet has created. We will leverage local empowerment with our seeds and knowledge.”