Smallholder Farmers Feeding Ethiopia's Cities

In Ethiopia, a country with one of the fastest growing urban populations, smallholder farmers play a vital role in feeding the cities. By providing locally grown and affordable fruit and vegetables they help Ethiopian families eat a healthy and balanced diet. But these farmers also need help eliminating pests and weeds to ensure a healthy harvest and to provide for their families.

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Partnering to Train Smallholder Farmers

CropLife International has teamed up with SNV, the Dutch development organization, and the Ethiopian government to deliver training for three years, as part of the Horti-LIFE project.

In Ziway, Ethiopia, Abu Geda has been farming for 20 years. In the past, pest outbreaks affected his livelihood, but with training through Horti-LIFE Abu has learned how better to protect his crops.

The project has helped farmers double yields, thus increasing their net income by 140%

Protecting Crops from Pests

Spray Service Providers (SSPs) receive special training in the application and handling of crop protection products, and provide their services to spray crops professionally for other local farmers. They are trained to identify problematic pests and diseases, and to know when, how and what to spray. Abate Bedasso followed such a training programme, “Now, when farmers find pests on their vegetables and need advice on spraying their crops, they call me.”

Seeking advice from an SSP has helped farmers reduce pesticide applications by 26%

Feeding the Demand from Cities

Like all farmers in the project, Obese grows crops to sell into Ethiopia’s expanding cities. In the past weeds and pests have damaged her harvest, but she now attends farmer field schools to learn best practices – based on integrated pest management – and to get advice from SSPs. Since taking part Obese has improved her yield, and now shares her experience with neighboring farmers.

The project has helped set up 125 farmer field schools in 65 villages

Delivering Healthy Crops and Livelihoods

The SSP concept has been a great success in Africa, as it encourages responsible management of crop protection products at farm level. Dedefo works for CropLife Ethiopia on projects like Horti-LIFE to train SSPs across Ethiopia: “Because the demand for food is increasing, our expertise can really help the farmers to expand their businesses.”

To date 248 SSPs have been trained, with Horti-LIFE aiming to train over 400

Explore More CropLife Partnerships

Ensuring that farmers are trained on the most environmentally sound and responsible methods for protecting their crops from pests is central for the plant science industry. Since 2005, the global CropLife network has formed over 300 partnerships to successfully train more than 3.7 million agricultural workers worldwide in integrated pest management and the responsible use of crop protection products. The projects below are powerful examples of how public-private partnerships and good agricultural practices can address hunger and poverty around the world. If you would like to partner with CropLife International contact

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