Ethiopia-Netherlands Seed Partnership

Enabling the private sector in Ethiopia to deliver farmers high quality seed of improved varieties – that’s the mission of the Ethiopian-Netherlands Seed Partnership. 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 (Photo above: Lex Schmeetz).

Women’s access to finance, entrepreneurship opportunities, managerial and leadership roles, and life-long learning will be improved. Overall, the project aims to improve food security and nutrition and climate resilience in the area.

Project aims

The Partnership builds on achievements of ISSD Ethiopia, recommendations of stakeholders, and ambitions of the governments of Ethiopia and the Netherlands. Integrated Seed Sector Development in Ethiopia.

1. Strengthen the private sector

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, generate foreign currency and improve Ethiopia’s balance of trade. Furthermore, the Partnership supports the Ethiopian Seed Association in strengthening its organization and value proposition to the sector.

2. Increase 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. Enable business in the seed sector

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.

Partnership management

Partners include the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Ethiopian Seed Association, Plantum, Resilience, and Wageningen University & Research (WUR). WUR plays a crucial role in facilitating the Partnership and strengthening local capacities. Local experts will be employed at Stichting Wageningen Research in Addis Ababa to execute activities. Strategic guidance will be given by a Steering Committee comprising representatives of the public and private sector. Stakeholders will be united in various platforms and forums.

For a full project summary, please download the project brief.