Better Potato for a Better Life: Reducing Food Insecurity and Dependence on Cereals, in Amhara, Oromia, Tigray and SNNPR regions of Ethiopia
Despite the gains made in the last decade, food insecurity and malnutrition rates remain high in Ethiopia The reasons for poor nutrition indicators relate to inadequate availability and access to a quality diet. Orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP), which is extremely rich in pro-vitamin A, and potato, which we are breeding for improved iron (Fe) and zinc (Zi) content, have significant potential to address the current malnutrition situation but yields are still poor.
Key Project Information
The capacity of federal agricultural research stations to produce disease-free planting material of potato and sweetpotato (P & SP) has been increased. The Government of Ethiopia ratified the Quality Declared Seed (QDS) system piloted by the project. During the first project phase (2010-14) 120,000 households have received sweetpotato vines and 17,000 farmers were trained on sweetpotato production. In Phase 2, we are extending and consolidating our activities in Phase 1 areas in the SNNPR and Tigray regions. We have initiated activities in the Amhara and Oromia regions of Central Ethiopia. Presently, we are working in 50 districts (woredas), in 2-5 communities (kebeles) per district. Among Our project is pursuing two objectives: (1) to establish and strengthen potato and sweetpotato value chains; and (2) to increase production and consumption of potato and sweetpotato in conjunction with other nutritious food crops. We apply an extensive partnership approach, working with agricultural research centers, Bureaus of Agriculture (BoAs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to enable sustainability and out/up scaling. Based on their core competencies, these partners play specific roles in the implementation of specific activities related to the:
- Establishment or strengthening of production capacities of pre-basic disease-free planting material by the public sector, applying rapid multiplication techniques
- Training of extension partners, using Trainers of Trainers (ToT) courses
- Establishment of a system of decentralized P & SP seed multiplication by farmer groups and cooperatives, commercial farms, and small-scale farmers; strengthening of production and business capacities of the multipliers
- Improvement of market linkages within the value chains, including institutional framework; for example, piloting and roll-out of a low cost seed quality inspection system (QDS) for potato and sweetpotato planting material
- Nutrition promotion & education, especially for OFSP
- Production and consumption promotion for OFSP through household garden schemes
- Increasing recognition of benefits of P & SP through wide-scale quality seed distribution
Project Leader: Thomas Miethbauer Project Members: Abiyot Aragaw; Gebremedhin Woldegiorgis
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