World Vision Ethiopia (WVE) has been implementing seed potato project in collaboration with Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and World Vision Korea since April 2014 in Hula District, Sidama Zone of SNNPR. The project, which costs USD 1,940,267 (around ETB 40,745,607.00) runs for a period of three years benefiting 388 households with an intention of increasing household income and enhancing food security by establishing seed system to potato production project.
To this effect, in the District, two existing seed potato multiplying cooperatives strengthened and one more cooperative organized. To enhance learning by doing, members of the respective cooperatives have been organized into farmer field schools comprising 25 members which again divided into five sub-groups comprising five members having a chairman and secretary.
The three cooperatives selected one seed potato multiplication site each, which served as a tool for learning and practicing seed multiplication activities that include variety and field selection, use of quality seed, rouging, variety maintenance, positive and negative selection, harvesting, and seed processing, storage, packaging and marketing. World Vision works in close collaboration with the Holeta Agricultural Research Center in developing and distributing a high yielding and virus free seed potato for the farmers for multiplication by using natural fertilization techniques.
It has been confirmed that after 85 days planting, an average of 10 and 21 seed potatoes have been uprooted for natural farming and conventional farming respectively.
Ashengo Adiso, 37, Chairperson of Abalegasie Vegetables and Fruits Producer Farmers’ Cooperatives, said, “World Vision brought us the seed and we are now able to produce virus free seed potato in our village.” According to the chairman, the cooperative has vision to be a distributor of first generation seed potato which has a yield potential of about 400 quintal per hectare to all over Ethiopia.