Ethiopia has set out to transform horticulture into one of the leading sectors of its economy. SNV is supporting the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources in creating an enabling environment for sector transformation.
Ethiopia has enormous potential to increase the export volume of vegetables by integrating private investors with smallholder farmers. But it first requires to enhance capacity through improvement of knowledge and management practice of small holder producers.
In its Growth and Transformation Plan II the country has given great emphasis to transforming the horticulture into an export-led sector. It has planned to generate revenue, income, employment and food solutions from the sector.
However, systematic bottlenecks in the whole value chain limited the contribution of the sector in the development of the country’s economy.
To create an enabling environment for the horticulture sector development, SNV in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources facilitated an experience sharing visit to Kenya.
A team from MoANR, regional bureaus and SNV has visited farmers and their associations, exporters, governmental institutions and sector associations to share experience on how they are working with smallholder horticulture farmers to expand export market.
Abdulsemed Abdo, Director of Crop Development Directorate, MoANR, said that the strong link among Kenyan horticulture sector actors such as the private sector, smallholder horticulture farmers, sector associations and the government has contributed a lot in delivering quality product to the export market.
Besides, the role of the government in creating an enabling policy environment is critical in facilitating more investment by the private sector while development partners do so in reinforcing the efforts of the former.
In Kenya, like in Ethiopia, smallholders have a land less than half hectare. However, they have realised that they need to utilise technologies with maximum intensity so as to harvest maximum yield per plot of land. Farmers in the same area produce the same crop (a cluster approach). They specialise in these crops and they can produce the high quality required.
In order to transform the sector as well as make the country significant producer and exporter of horticulture, in Ethiopia, sector actors have to team up. SNV is working closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Horti-LIFE project to support the government’s effort in making the horticulture sector driver of the country’s economy.
“Horti-LIFE aims to enhance knowledge and skills in improved horticulture production thereby contributing for improved horticulture supply chains with more efficient trade-links between the smallholder producers, wholesalers, processors, retailers and others in the value chain” said Yetnayet Girmaw, Agriculture Sector Lead, SNV Ethiopia.
Horticulture Livelihood, Innovation and Food Safety in Ethiopia (Horti-LIFE) is a three years program (2016-18) funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN) and implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (MoANR) and SNV Ethiopia.
The project focuses on improving the basic skills of smallholders so that they can be good partners for out-growers schemes in the future.