The mission of the Ethiopia-Netherlands Seed Partnership is to enable the private sector in Ethiopia to deliver farming men and women high quality seed of improved varieties much needed for food security and nutrition, and climate resilience. The Partnership will increase 150,000 households’ crop productivity and diversity by 50%, create 2,000 jobs and increase the area under sustainable agricultural practices. Furthermore, women’s access to finance, entrepreneurship opportunities, managerial and leadership roles, and life-long learning will be improved.
The Ethiopia-Netherlands Seed Partnership
This Partnership builds on achievements of ISSD Ethiopia, recommendations of stakeholders, and ambitions of the governments of Ethiopia and the Netherlands. Objectives align well with the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) of Ethiopia, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN) and SeedNL, a partnership between the Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality; Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and the seed association Plantum.
Guiding sector transformation
In 2019, MoA published the document ‘Transforming the Ethiopian Seed Sector: Issues & Strategies’. We underscore the agenda’s objectives, which are structured according to: production; value chain development; service provision; consumption; stakeholder organization; regulation; coordination; and investment. Our strategy follows this logic.
The value proposition of the Netherlands
The Netherlands has a lot to offer in terms of trade, investment and knowledge. Dutch government, private sector, civil society and selected knowledge institutes, often called the Dutch Diamond, have a strong interest to share their products and knowledge with Ethiopia. With the collaboration of international companies, we intend to raise € 1.2 million in addition to € 6.5 million from EKN.
Three primary outcomes
1. Private sector strengthened
Activities will double the production and diversity in the portfolio of 10 domestic seed businesses – three of which are women owned – and increase their access to finance. We will also work with international companies to start or expand local production of seed in Ethiopia. This will employ nationals, raise exports, generate foreign currency and improve Ethiopia’s balance of trade. Furthermore, the Partnership supports ESA in strengthening its organization and value proposition to the sector.
2. Uptake of innovations and empowerment
Three knowledge institutes will perform better and more gender transformatively, and 100 graduates – of which at least half are women – will have enrolled in internships in the seed sector. Curricula on seed technology, seed business and seed systems will be improved, and scholarships for MSc study and fellowships to international trainings will be awarded. Furthermore, 40,000 farmers (50% women) will have been trained on sustainable agricultural practices.
3. Business of the seed sector is enabled
This will be measured by two improvements to major seed regulations and € 12 m invested by domestic businesses and international companies in seed production in Ethiopia. By improving the coherence of regulations with the practices of businesses, and these businesses’ compliance with the rules of the game, increased trade and investment will be leveraged. Furthermore, five seed regulatory bodies will be strengthened in their leadership, human resources, cost recovery and provision of quality services.
Crops and target groups
Crops important for human nutrition will receive attention. Support to domestic private sector will broaden the seed product portfolios of food security crops, including cereals, pulses and oilseeds. International companies will be complementary, introducing new varieties of fruit and vegetables, potato and forage. Support will be given to public services, private sector, and men and women youth, farmers, entrepreneurs and professionals.
Collaboration with other initiatives
Our scope is delimited from the Agricultural Growth Program and Agricultural Transformation Agency. Collaboration with these two and others including AGRA, GIZ, HortiLIFE, BRIDGE and RAISE-FS will take place.