Ethiopia’s Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) is dominated by small-scale farming. The majority of farmers there are reliant on low-input, low-output agriculture. Their lack of access to high-quality inputs like fertiliser, irrigation and drought-tolerant seeds makes them particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and extreme weather.
Connecting smallholders to lucrative food markets provides a powerful means to reduce rural poverty. Yet, Ethiopian farmers are often unable to secure profitable contracts with buyers due to their inability to:
This project will help smallholder farmers make the step change from low-input, low-out agriculture to commercial agriculture, while strengthening their resilience to an increasingly unpredictable climate.
Over 5,400 farmers will receive face-to-face training in the sustainable production of high-value cash crops. Farmers will be introduced to drought-tolerant varieties of crops, such as chickpeas and peppers, and taught climate-smart agricultural techniques, like the application of bio-fertilisers.
Farm Africa will develop the business environment farmers in this region operate in. We will train local cooperatives and agribusinesses in input provision, post-harvest handling and aggregation so that farmers can meet the demands of high-value markets. We will also improve local cooperatives’ business management skills, to help them develop sustainable, profitable relationships with buyers.
The project will ensure that women, who are more susceptible to the effects of extreme weather, are well represented within value chains, cooperatives and community organisations.
This project will also empower farmers financially by connecting them to financial institutions and establishing village saving and loan associations, where farmers unite to save together to make funds available to start new businesses and address critical cash flow problems.
With funding from Sida (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency), Farm Africa is working with local government agencies, research centres, higher education institutions and the private sector.