IDH and the Pesticide Action Network (PAN-UK) have started implementing a project to support healthy, sustainable and productive vegetable farming in the Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia. About 600 households will directly benefit from the project by receiving training on different elements of integrated pest management through dedicated farmer field schools.
The three-year Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Project will run in the Adami Tulu-Jido Kombolcha district of the Oromia region.
The project will explore the suitability of a biological food spray developed to prevent pests and diseases that can be produced by farmers locally. The wider community will benefit from greater awareness of the risks from pesticides. Safer alternatives, including cultural plant protection methods such as food sprays that reduce risks to human health and the environment, will be introduced to smallholders.
The project started with field trials of food spray, neem spray and conventional pesticides on tomatoes and onions around Lake Ziway, with the aim to increase farmers’ awareness of the risks of pesticides and testing innovative approaches to IPM.
PAN-Ethiopia will implement the project in partnership with the bureaus of Agriculture and natural Resources and the bureaus of Finance and Economic Development in Adami Tulu Jido Kombolcha district.
The project will complement an initiative by IDH and the Meki Batu farmers Union, where smallholder fruit and vegetable farmers around Lake Ziway received GLOBALG.A.P. (Good Agricultural Practices) certification. The certification enabled them to connect to markets and sell their produce at a premium price to Ethiopian Airlines, among others.
Image: PAN-UK expert scouting smallholder farmers’ tomato plot.