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Improving crop production

Ethiopia-story-21.jpgIt starts with the seeds!

A sustainable supply of quality seeds is an important ingredient for improving crop production and productivity among rural and small scale farmers in Ethiopia. A lack of these seeds contributes to low agricultural production.

Since 2010, 25 Farmer Field School groups in the Mirgo Village, Oromia Region and Were-Jarso District received improved seeds, credit, and access to local markets. The groups facilitate a pay-it-forward program whereby members repay their loaned seed to the group on the basis of a pre-determined agreement. Thanks to a high repayment rate farmers have gained access to improved seeds.

Along with these seeds, Farmer Field School members receive training on agronomic practices, seed multiplication, harmful traditional practices (HTP), gender based violence (GBV), and HIV and AIDS.

Ethiopia-story-21-1.jpgIn 2012, five new Farmer Field School groups collected 55 quintals (close to 5,500 kilograms) of wheat and teff seed. These new groups then redistributed the improved seeds to another 110 Farmer Field School members, 45 of which are female.

*Ato in the Amharic language is the equivalent of “Mr.” and is used widely by Ethiopians of various linguistic backgrounds.