Ethiopia is one of the countries affected by the impact of climate change due to increasing temperatures and rainfall fluctuation and drought. The Amhara region is one of the regional states in the country that faces the impact of climate change, suffering from land degradation by long history of deforestation and soil erosion. It is predicted that in Ethiopia crop yields could be reduced as much as 50% by 2020, directly affecting smallholder farmers. About 50% of Ethiopia’s economy and 85% of jobs are linked to agriculture and this is true for the Amhara region and Menjar-Shenkora woreda in particular.
Supporting sustainable agricultural development that responds to the challenge of climate change is one of the highest priorities of the Government of Ethiopia, as highlighted in the Climate Resilient Green Economy strategy (CRGE). Building on the key findings of the Climate Change National Adaptation Program (NAP-Eth) of 2018 and in line with the Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II – 2016-20), the government continues to focus on smallholder farming, especially as it is important for poverty reduction and food security.
Menjar-Shenkora woreda, like other parts of Ethiopia, needs information on site specific fertilizer application. 4R Solution project will be instrumental in contributing to the food security and agricultural development. The project will provide direction in plant nutrient management guided by the principles of 4R Nutrient Stewardship. Researchers from project implementing partners will actively work with Amhara Agricultural Research Institute to share their rich experience. The project will be implemented in the high potential production zones in Ethiopia on major crops of the country: Teff (indigenous cereal) and Wheat. Co-operatives, governments and fertilizer suppliers will provide extension services that incorporate 4R Nutrient Stewardship.
By the end of the project, it is anticipated that women and men smallholder farmers, co-operatives and other smallholder farmer owned enterprises will increase the productivity and profitability of targeted cash and food crops, supported by a policy and extension environment. The public and private agriculture extension agents will have the knowledge and tools required to demonstrate and promote the 4R principles.
This project will also share lessons learned from experiences with other partners such as the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), the Ministry of Agriculture and other development partners to demonstrate the impact of various 4R techniques on crop productivity and profits. Linkages will also be created with Digital Green to enhance dissemination of information using video technology and smart applications. The project will adapt various 4R knowledge products developed in Kenya for use by extension systems, farmer groups, and fertilizer dealers in Ethiopia.
WHERE WE WORK IN ETHIOPIA
Following series of consultations with the Ministry of Agriculture, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research and reviewing recent adapted plan on change, NAP-Eth-2018 and GTP II – 2016-20, it was agreed that the project should be implemented in eight woredas of Menjar-Shenkora district on Northern Shewa Zone, Amhara National Regional State. The district was selected based on:
- its potential of producing quality Teff (indigenous cereal) and Wheat varieties, which are identified as strategic crops by the government.
- presence of already established Farmers Training Centers (FTC) that will potentially facilitate the adaption of the 4R principles and cross learning among decision makers, farmers, researchers and academia.