Bayer joins Fair Planet project to support Ethiopian farmers

The Ethiopian villages for the first planting season are Dire Dawa, Harar, Butajira and Gondar.
The Ethiopian villages for the first planting season are Dire Dawa, Harar, Butajira and Gondar.

Bayer is joining the non-profit organization Fair Planet to work on "Bridging the Seed Gap," which will provide opportunities for smallholder farmers in Ethiopia. 

The project is a long-term dedication to providing Fair Planet’s technology transfer process to equip smallholder farmers with high-quality vegetable seeds while providing training to farmers for better growing and selling. In the 2016 growing season, the organization will start with Nunhems tomato, hot pepper and onions. 

In 2017, a select group of farmers from the previous year will have access to the best-performing varieties from Bayer to go to other farmers to teach them better practices.

“Access to high-quality vegetable seed varieties and know-how is essential to improve the economic growth of smallholder farmers in Ethiopia,” Vegetable Seeds Managing Director Vicente Navarro said. “But this can only be successful with a holistic approach and through collaboration. We believe in the setup that Fair Planet has created. We will leverage local empowerment with our seeds and knowledge.”

The villages for the first planting season are Dire Dawa, Harar, Butajira and Gondar.

“With our project that was established in collaboration with leading vegetable seed companies, we aim to improve the quality of life of smallholder farmers through access to high quality seed and by showing improved cultivation techniques with minimal changes to traditional practices," Shoshan Haran, Fair Planet's founder and operations manager, said. "We are extremely pleased that Bayer is joining our open aid platform, which is a unique phenomenon in the vegetable seed industry. By connecting local authorities, universities, farmers’ unions with smallholder farmers and with the support of global seed companies, we can bridge the seed gap.”

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