Improving farmers’ engagement in the pepper value chain: Pepper seed multiplication field day


In Ethiopia, Livelihoods for Resilience Activity (GRAD II) project is working with food insecure households to address the pepper seed supply system through production and multiplication. To increase the engagement of these households, the project organised a seed multiplication field day.

The project has engaged more than 700 farmers in Sidama and Gedeo Zones to produce improved chili pepper on very compact land. On seed multiplication field day at Boricha woreda (or district), farmers learnt about new pepper seed varieties, improved production techniques, its performance and the result of improved extension service on the commodity. Zone level key officials and experts promised to create an enabling environment for promoting and scaling up the experience, and to work closely with stakeholders for sustainable improved pepper seed supply.

Observing the new pepper varieties on farmers’ preparation table and farmers’ fields, the visitors from seven woredas of Southern Nations Nationalities and People Region learnt about the unique characteristics of the pepper varieties: Melka Dera, Melka Awaze, Melka Zala and Melka Oli. After filed level observation and discussion on the respective qualities of each variety, the participants selected “Melka Oli”. The variety is stress tolerant, highly pungent and produces high yield under moisture stress condition.

To develop the value chain, Feed the Future Livelihoods for Resilience Activity (GRAD II) project, in partnership with CARE Ethiopia, agriculture bureaus of Sidama and Gedeo zones, woreda offices of agriculture and kebele experts, organised a field day at Boricha woreda on the four pepper varieties. SNV provides technical assistance in the selection of climate resilient crop and livestock value chains and promotion of improved technologies and practices to enhance Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) farmers’ resilience to the effects of climate change. Such field visits aim to demonstrate farmers’ capability of seed multiplication.

Last year, Ermias Alazar multiplied and distributed the “Melka Oli” seed to farmers in five kebeles. But this year he is producing it for market and expects a better income. Israel Ali took some of the pepper seeds from Ermias and sow it on his farm. “I am seeing great change after using this variety.” Isreal shared his experience. The visitors were impressed by the result and showed interest to use the new varieties.

Abebe Tafesse, Sidama zone Agricultural Bureau Deputy Head, stressed on the need to improve the country’s agriculture. He added, “The availability of such kinds of improved seed varieties is an important input to increase income from agriculture.” He also reminded farmers to keep on using improved varieties.

The Resilience project

GRAD II project aims to enable 97,900 chronically food insecure households to graduate from PSNP with resilience in Amhara, Tigray and Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples, national regional states. In Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples national regional state, it is implemented in partnership with CARE Ethiopia and Agriservice.

In Sidama and Gadio clusters the project works on pepper, haricot bean, shoat fattening, honey and poultry value chains.