On 1 October 2016 we launched the Horti-LIFE project in Ethiopia.
The Horti-LIFE project, funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN) and implemented in partnership with SNV Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (MoANR), aims to increase the food security and safety of smallholder farmers and consumers. 30,000 farmers will be addressed.
Tesfaye Megeste, Director of Agricultural Extension Directorate, MoNAR, stated in his opening address that Ethiopia assumes creating export-led horticulture sector to change its economy. And hence gave the sector due emphasis in its Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) II to tap the potential as well as generate revenue from horticulture.
He added, “Capacity building, promoting appropriate technologies, minimising post-harvest losses and connecting smallholders to market are our priorities.”
To achieve this, the Ministry is working in partnership with various stakeholders to create an enabling environment. One of the key partners is the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN). Similar partnerships have enabled the country to innovate its ways of practice.
Martin Koper, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, stressed that this project is introducing a new approach to double the export sales and improve nutrition security and food safety.
The Farmers Field Schools approach is a participatory method to support farmers and extension workers to scale up innovations and to disseminate lessons learned. It leads to sustainable results that benefit smallholder horticulture farmers.
Worku Behonegne, SNV Ethiopia Country Director, said SNV will continue to support the Ministry to invest in strengthening local capacity, increasing access to appropriate and affordable technologies, connecting smallholder farmers to the private sector and contributing to ensuring food security for food insecure households.
Horti-LIFE works in nine districts of Amhara, Oromia, Tigray and Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples regions to address 30,000 smallholder farmers. In both Oromia and SNNPR one woreda is added in cooperation with another SNV project: Gender and Youth Empowerment in horticultural Markets (GYEM).
Horti-LIFE will achieve its objectives by integrating smallholders in high-value horticultural production, enabling smallholders to receive substantially higher incomes, strengthening the existing vocational and graduate education programmes, reducing overall pesticide usage and residue levels, and enabling environment for the sustained support to inclusive and sustainable development of the sector.