BASF and SNV extend collaboration to support smallholder farmers in Ethiopia

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 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 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 revitalise agriculture in conflict recovery and drought-affected areas and empower farming communities to rebuild their livelihoods. The seed handover ceremony was organized in the premise 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 continously support 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 in 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.”

About BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division

Farming is fundamental to provide enough healthy and affordable food for a rapidly growing population while reducing environmental impacts. Working with partners and agricultural experts and by integrating sustainability criteria into all business decisions, we help farmers to create a positive impact on sustainable agriculture. That’s why we invest in a strong R&D pipeline, connecting innovative thinking with practical action in the field. Our portfolio comprises seeds and specifically selected plant traits, chemical and biological crop protection, solutions for soil management, plant health, pest control and digital farming. With expert teams in the lab, field, office and in production, we strive to find the right balance for success – for farmers, agriculture, and future generations. In 2022, our division generated sales of €10.3 billion. For more information, please visit www.agriculture.basf.com or any of our social media channels.

About SNV

SNV works on a wide range of issues in Ethiopia. SNV started emergency work in 1974 and has continued to support development projects that have a lasting impact on the people of Ethiopia. Currently, SNV’s work extends to more than 450 districts, where it implements projects that build and sustain the agri-food systems, contributes to improving affordable access to basic services by ensuring safe and sustainable access to clean energy and water, thus enabling equitable lives for all. SNV partners with the government, private sector and civil society and engages with communities in a manner that is sensitive to their needs and enables strong involvement and ownership. The SNV approach include being sensitive to food and nutrition security challenges, supporting sustainable markets, and building climate change resilience for smallholder farmers. In the agri-food sector, SNV has a large dairy development programme, as well as the Horti-LIFE project working with the private sector and government programmes to improve the productivity of smallholders. SNV believes that this gesture of BASF vegetable seeds business is an excellent example of a tri-partite cooperation between private companies, government organisations and NGOs with a very direct impact at scale for rural farming communities.

Learn more about SNV's work in Ethiopia