Shortage of improved seed is a major bottleneck for agriculture in Ethiopia. We have been working on improved seed production in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region. Better known as SNNPR, it is a huge region with an estimated 14 million people, the vast majority of whom are smallholder farmers.
We identified a significant problem in the course of producing certified seeds with farmers, namely the limited supply of pre-basic and basic seeds. Farmers from 2 district primary co-operatives were subsequently trained in the methodology of early generation seed production. The results were highly encouraging and sustainable.
The pilot project, with funding from the European Commission, was then scaled up. Women are significant beneficiaries of the extra income from seed production. Houses have been improved, children sent to school and household diets diversified.
All of this good work, led by our Country Director Wubshet Berhanu, was recognised at a special NGO Good Practice Day in Addis Ababa. Self Help Africa picked up 2nd prize (from a total of 34 entries). The presentation was made by Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Demeke Mekonnen.