4,400 Farmers in East Amhara and Tigray to receive high-quality seeds to produce 15 million kg of onions as part of SNV’s Farmer Field Schools in Conflict Recovery Program

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  • BASF’s vegetable seeds business to provide high-quality red onion seeds to SNV-Netherlands Development Organisation in Ethiopia.
  •  SNV to distribute the seeds to 4,400 smallholders in conflict-affected areas in Tigray and East Amhara through its Horti-LIFE program that works with the Ministry of Agriculture on establishing Farmer Field Schools (FFS).

Addis Ababa, 14 June 2023 – Today BASF has handed over to SNV high quality onion seeds to support smallholder farmers in conflict and drought affected areas. The seeds will be distributed to 4,400 smallholder farmers in Ethiopian regions Tigray and East Amhara who participate in its Farmer Field Schools (FFS) program. Each participating family will receive seeds for 0.1 hectare of onions allowing them to restart production in the conflict and drought affected areas. The produce will be for home consumption, as well as 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 smallholder farming families in the North of Ethiopia allowing them to restart their livelihoods” said Ben Depraetere.

“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 Farmers Field Schools (FFS)” explained Julie Graham, SNV Ethiopia Country Director.

Since 2016 SNV works with the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture to establish Farmer Field Schools (FFS). Their members learn 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 enables them to improve their productivity. A survey in 2021 showed that FFS members get 34% higher yields, and 43% higher incomes. In concrete numbers: Farmer Field Schools (FFS) 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.