purple og #18

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They always kept me up to date with what was going on with my lawn and would also offer me some pointers along the way on how to make it healthier and maintain. I will continue to do business with Weed Man in the future. Weed Man does a great job of getting rid of my weeds. I have had them for several years and I have always been happy with their service. They also provide written advice on any problem lawn areas they come across while spraying for weeds or fertilizing. Zack from Weed Man came back and sprayed a second time for free when he discovered a problem area of the lawn. Ethiopia’s seed banks and the search for food security. Выполните вход, чтобы сообщить о неприемлемом контенте. The community seed bank in Chefe Donsa, a village two hours’ drive east of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, collects and preserves the seeds of local crops to ensure farmers have a steady supply of seeds to sow each year. The Chefe Donsa seed bank is just one of 13 established in different climatic areas of the country. The nation’s central seed bank, which the Ethiopian Institute of Biodiversity set up in Addis Ababa, helps researchers and farmers retain agricultural biodiversity. By preserving this, researchers hope to strengthen food security in the country and mitigate the risk of famine, which is increasing due to climate change-related droughts. This film was made with the support of the Innovation in Development Reporting Grant Programme, which is run by the European Journalism Centre and financed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNP), one of the nine ethnic divisions (kililoch) of Ethiopia, Wulchafo Surage, is busy constructing a granary for the first time in his compound in anticipation of a bumper harvest. The 44-year-old father of 5 is one of a few smallholder farmers in Ethiopia who have boosted their maize yields by planting high-quality hybrid seeds, and using the recommended amount of fertilizers. According to official records, hybrid seed uptake in Ethiopia stands at only 10%, particularly among smallholder farmers. This compares poorly with a country like Kenya, whose uptake of hybrid maize seed is about 60% nationally. A recent report by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), titled ‘Seed System Potential in Ethiopia’, points out that the shortage of hybrid maize seed in the country is a national concern because farmers are unable to access seed in the quantities they need. As a result, the average yield of maize in Ethiopia stands at 2 t/ha, which is far lower than the potential average of 6 t/ha, depending on the hybrid variety planted, prevailing weather conditions, and the quality of field management. To bridge this gap, Alemayehu Makonnen, a large-scale farmer in the SNNP region, is now dedicated to producing hybrid seed (with support from AGRA) as a way of boosting food productivity in the country – and farmers are already taking it up. “I tried out hybrid maize seed for the first time in 2011, after attending a farmer field day at Makonnen’s farm,” said Surage, a farmer in the region. After realizing that the yield from a half-hectare piece of land planted to hybrid maize was higher than that from two and a half hectares planted to non-hybrid seed, he decided to plant the recommended hybrid maize variety and apply fertilizer on his entire 3-hectare piece of land in 2012. This gave him a yield of 18 tons of maize from three hectares, six times more than he had been harvesting before. He has continued with this practice, with similar results in 2013 and 2014. “Many other farmers who have seen my crop have turned to hybrid seeds,” said Surage, who is a member of the Adjo Farmer Association.

And Makonnen now reports that he expects to sell the hybrid seed to over 20,000 farmers for the next planting season, as farmers continue adopting the hybrid technology. Up to 80% of smallholder farmers in the region who planted hybrid seed and used improved management practices over the past three years have realized an average yield of 4 t/ha, with the highest recording 6 t/ha, according to Makonnen.

“From my observation, many people do not use high quality seed and farm inputs simply because they do not know where to find them, and sometimes because they lack the working capital. Experience has shown that a little capacity building can change the situation within a very short period,” he said. In 2011, when he expanded the production of hybrid maize seed using a grant from AGRA, 1,000 farmers from the region purchased it.


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