BASF and SNV extend collaboration to support smallholder farmers in Ethiopia

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  • BASF donated high-quality vegetable seeds reaching 4,000 smallholder farmers in conflict recovery and drought-affected areas in Tigray and Amhara Region
  • Seed provision by BASF to SNV supported Farmer Field Schools revitalises agriculture and empowers communities

BASF continues its partnership with the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) under the Horti-LIFE project to support smallholder farmers in conflict recovery and drought-affected regions of Tigray and Amhara Region in the North of Ethiopia. In continued effort to support these communities, BASF through its Vegetable Seeds division BASF | Nunhems, has provided 800 kg of high-quality onion seeds, 666,000 hot pepper seeds and 1,500,000 tomato seeds to Farmer Field Schools supported by SNV, facilitating essential training and distribution of seeds to 4,000 smallholders. This collaborative initiative aims to revitalize agriculture in conflict recovery and drought-affected areas and empower farming communities to rebuild their livelihoods. The seed handover ceremony was organized in the premises of the Ministry of Agriculture on February 27, 2024, in the presence of H.E. Dr Melese Mekonen, State Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture.

With this partnership, BASF is committed to continuously supporting smallholder farming families in Northern Ethiopia, and this goes beyond the provision of seeds. The seeds will be used by farmers who participate in Farmer Field Schools (FFS) organised by SNV. Upon completing good agricultural practice trainings, farmers receive seeds to implement their newly acquired knowledge on their own farms. Matthias Pohl, Head of Societal Outreach at BASF Agricultural Solutions, emphasises: “We are impressed by SNV Farmers Field Schools’ great success, also in times of challenging environmental conditions. BASF welcomes the opportunity to support SNV in its endeavours to improve smallholder livelihood through its active engagement by focussing on Integrated Pest Management and responsible use of crop protection products”.

Ben Depraetere, Managing Director of BASF | Nunhems in Ethiopia, expresses enthusiasm for the partnership’s continuation, stating: “We are proud to continue supporting smallholder farming families in Ethiopia, rebuilding their livelihoods. Our collaboration is a testament to our commitment to empowering farming communities and society through various social engagement activities. It is great to witness how providing farmers with high-quality seeds and training them on cultivation methods not only enhances crop yields but also contributes to more nutritious diets in their household, making a significant positive impact in their lives.”

SNV, under the Horti-LIFE project, has been working closely with the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture since 2016. It uses the horticulture Farmer Field School (FFS) Extension Methodology to enhance farmers’ practical knowledge and skills to solve challenges on production and productivity. Recent surveys reveal FFS members achieve 34% higher yields and 43% higher incomes. SNV’s programme operates in 147 districts, benefiting approximately 80,000 farmers annually through 2,000 FFS.

Julie Graham, SNV Ethiopia Country Director, comments on BASF’s support and emphasises the importance of their high-quality seeds. “Our partnership with BASF brought positive outcome. The FFS members who received the first batch of seed support benefitted from improved productivity, disease resistance, long shelf life and higher market prices.”