Fair Planet (www.fairplanetseeds.org) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase food security and provide new economic opportunities for smallholder farmers in developing countries, through access to high-quality seed varieties and training for improved farming practices.
Fair Planet is collaborating with leading vegetable seed companies, specifically Syngenta, Limagrain, Enza Zaden, Bayer, BASF, East-West Seed and Sakata in Ethiopia and Tanzania. Since 2012, Fair Planet has established three training centres in the main agro-climatic regions of Ethiopia and identified vegetable varieties that significantly increase crop productivity, quality, and marketability. Together with Haramaya University and the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture, Fair Planet has developed a unique extension model and train hundreds of Lead Farmers annually in how to improve their productivity with gradual changes to their traditional production practices. The Fair Planet project is implemented in Ethiopia in collaboration with JoyTech PLC and Alterra from WUR and is supported by the Dutch government. Fair Planet and its seed partners are now expanding the initiative to Tanzania, where Fair Planet collaborates with Sokoine University of Agriculture, SUGECO, a local cooperative, and the Ministry of Agriculture, in support of the Tanzanian smallholder farmers.
The results achieved in Ethiopia are outstanding: smallholder farmers’ vegetable yields have increased dramatically: 5 times higher in tomato, and 11 times higher in hot pepper and 4 times higher in onion. Many of the farmers doubled their annual income from their small plots, in only one production season. Technology transfer and capacity building of local experts and trainers is a key part of the program and the local extension teams continue training the farmers to implement better production practices. As of to date, more than 75,000 smallholder farmers in the project regions have increased food production due to better seeds and improved farming practices. The farmers have gradually shifted from subsistence farming to an agribusiness mode of operation. They benefit from sustainable economic growth and their families, more than 480,000 people, benefit from increased income, improved nutrition and better education for the children. These farmers are able now to secure a better future for the next generations.
The Fair Planet initiative helps the development of a vital agriculture business economy in rural areas of Africa and provides interesting and profitable work for young people looking for better opportunities in their own country. Fair Planet is seeking partners who are willing to join this successful and exciting initiative and who can support its efforts in helping millions of farmers in need, in as many countries as possible.
Sustainability of the Fair Planet approach:
The sustainability of the Fair Planet approach was demonstrated in Butajira, its first intervention-site in Ethiopia, where it conducted more than 20 vegetable variety trials, on station and on farm, and identified varieties of tomato, hot pepper, onion, and cabbage, suitable for the region’s diverse sub-climatic conditions. The project have trained more than 250 Lead Farmers in 17 different villages in the Mesqan Woreda which has 44,000 smallholder households, near the town of Butajira, covering most of the region’s vegetable producing areas. In a joint Press Release from June 2018, Mr. Jemal Awol Hussen, Head of Mesqan Woreda Bureau of Agriculture, have stated that due to the diffusion effect, more than 90% of the vegetable growers in the region have shifted towards using high quality vegetable seeds. The Butajira region has ‘graduated’ and sustainability has been achieved, allowing Fair Planet to shift its efforts to East Ethiopia, where high quality seeds and knowledge on good agricultural practices are extremely needed.
Short video on Fair Planet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V43lrGOxurs
Variety Trials in Ethiopia
Planting in Tanzania
Dr. Shoshan Haran with local farmers
High quality seedlings