Veggies for Planet and People to create 1600 jobs for women and youth in Ethiopia 

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The Veggies for Planet and People project has started both in Kenya and Ethiopia. Here is an update of the recent launch of the project in Ethiopia, where it is implemented in the Oromia region envisioning healthier lives and more jobs for women and youth.

Vegetable production, access and consumption is the least in Ethiopia. Recognising its role in alleviating malnutrition and micronutrients deficiency, the Government of Ethiopia has provided due emphasis to strengthen the horticulture sector.

Improving health and creating jobs

In his opening speech, Dereje Asamenew representative of Ministry of Agriculture stated, ‘This project will contribute to changing our feeding habit, improving production, productivity as well as income, creating jobs for women and youth, and generating foreign currency’.

Deputy Head of Oromia Bureau of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Getu Gemechu, underlined this as well as the regional bureau’s commitment to make the project successful and address food and nutrition security.

Worku Behonegne, Country Director of SNV Ethiopia, expressed his hope that the project will serve as a practical learning ground on how to implement research for development works. ‘I am sure the lessons from implementation will inform not only implementing partners but also policy makers as well as funding organisations,’ Worku added.

SNV’s experience in horticulture

SNV has wide-ranging experience in implementing horticulture projects. In these projects, we have provided sector-wide support to enable the horticulture sub-sector to respond to the market demand. Projects have linked horticulture farmers with the input and output markets. To improve the agronomic practices, SNV is promoting farmer field schools where farmers learn about Good Agricultural Practices and Integrated Pest Management. As a result, the farmers’ productivity and quality of produce has increased leading to improved income of the smallholder farmers in the last five years. We also have invested a lot on education and training facilities to enhance their capacities and provide practical trainings while promoting climate-resilient technologies.

The project

Veggies for Planet and People is a four-year project implemented in Ethiopia and Kenya in collaboration with the World Vegetable Center (WorldVeg) and SNV Netherlands Development Organisation. Funded by the IKEA Foundation, it envisions the development of vegetable business in Ethiopia for more jobs and better human and environmental health.

The project places special emphasis on regenerative agricultural technologies to nourish the soil and reduce or eliminate the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides. The value chain development of the project focuses on traditional vegetables, enhancing business networks and creating jobs for women and the youth.

V4P&P in Ethiopia

V4P&P is implemented in Finfinnee Surrounding special zone, South West Shewa and West Shewa zones of Oromia.  The project aims to establish 80 vegetable business networks (VBN) to engage an estimated 2400 women and youth in market activities. The project will also create 1600 jobs for women or youth participating in VBNs. Value chain development emphasises traditional African vegetables like Ethiopian mustard, kale, etc.

The project agreement between Oromia Bureau of Finance and Economic Cooperation, Oromia Bureau of Agriculture and Natural Resources has been signed and the project implementation has started.