BASF donates vegetable seeds to 4,000 smallholders

ADDIS ABABA – BASF in collaboration with Netherlands’ development organization (SNV) donated vegetable seeds to 4,000 smallholder farmers residing in conflict and drought affected areas in Ethiopia.

BASF and SNV extend collaboration in donating and supporting smallholder famers in conflict and drought affected areas in which the latter also support famers’ field schools (FFS) to revitalize agriculture and empower communities.

BASF would continue providing support to the smallholder farmers in Ethiopia to restore their livelihoods, so said Ben Depraetere, Managing Director of Nunhems Ethiopia, BASF’s vegetable seeds business company.

He added that the donated quality vegetable seeds will reach to 4,000 smallholder farmers living in conflict and drought affected areas in Amhara and Tigray states.

Seed donation is the second round in partnership with SNV and BASF have been working with SNV for four years in different ways in areas of FFS and variety demonstration in different parts of the country that focus on improved vegetable seeds contributed to increasing the productivity of income of smallholder farmers, the Managing Director said.

The BASF handed over seeds include 800 kg of onion, 1,500,000 tomato, 666,000 hot pepper and 1,500,000 watermelon seeds to smallholder farmers in Tigray and Amhara states supported by SNV that facilitate vital training and distribution of seeds to 4,000 smallholder famers, as to him.

“We are not only donating seeds and advice, but we also hoping to have a clear impact on livelihoods and nutrition of those conflict affected farmers,” he added.

Netherlands Development organization (SNV) Ethiopia Country Director, Julie Graham on her part noted that project is targeting war-affected areas and the partnership with BASF bringing positive outcomes.

She said SNV provide training and transfer knowledge to smallholder farmers how to grow such crops and seeds provided by BASF.

SNV has been working with Ministry of Agriculture to support famers’ field schools using extension methodology to enhance famers’ practical knowledge and skills to solve challenges on production and productivity, she stated.

She said SNV operates in 147 districts of seven states that benefiting around 80,000 famers annually through FFS by applying new farming technology and methodologies and core practices.

She added the FFS members who received the first batch of seed support benefited from improved productivity, disease resistance and higher market values.

State Minister of Agriculture, Melese Mekonnen (PhD) expressed that the farmers who are in need of agricultural inputs are identified thereby receive the donated seeds.

“The delivered seeds can develop 291 hectares of lands and is great support for farmers.

We are very successful in this FFS approach SNV support technical and make them sustainable to produce crops,” he said.



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