By AGRA Content Hub

Corteva Agriscience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, signed a partnership with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to enable Ethiopia’s cereals, fruit and vegetable farmers get better solutions that boost productivity.

The partnership will safely and sustainably maximize productivity, the company said in its press statement. The heritage companies of Corteva Agriscience – DuPont Crop Protection, Dow AgroSciences and Pioneer – have been working for more than 25 years in Ethiopia. The companies have been offering Pioneer® brand seed and crop protection solutions to more than one million maize, wheat, teff, fruit and vegetables farmers in the market, it said.

Ethiopia has a population of more than 100 million and thus has a strong nutritional need for high quality, sustainable protein foods. There is a significant need to increase food productivity in Ethiopia.

“As the largest global company solely dedicated to agriculture, we are ready to support the government in making the agriculture sector more efficient, innovating so that output is maximised and Ethiopian farmers are more successful, “said Prabdeep Bajwa, President of Corteva Agriscience, Africa Middle East.

“We will work with our farmers to introduce new agricultural practices that cause minimal impact to the environment and innovate to produce food ingredients which are healthier, taste better, and are designed for different diet requirements.”

Agricultural productivity
Corteva Agriscience, through its collaboration with government and USAID implemented the Advanced Maize Seed Adoption Program (AMSAP), which resulted in 250,000 smallholder farmers increasing their productivity from 2.2 metric tons per hectare to 7 metric tons per hectare and their incomes by $1,500 USD annually.

The program aims to increase the productivity of smallholder farmers by giving them new, high-quality options for maize seeds as well as improving seed distribution and post-harvest storage. Close to 10,000 smallholder maize farmers have benefited from agronomic education and training.

Forty thousand farmers have improved access to agricultural inputs such as hybrid seed varieties. These farmers have also increased their yields and increased incomes by an average of 20 percent. More than 30 agronomists are engaged in delivering training to farmers and 80 local retailers have been fully enabled to distribute seed to farmers.

“The future in farming lies in increasing yields and we have a track record of helping farmers boost their agricultural production through the AMSAP program in Ethiopia. We also have proven crop protection solutions, including a post-emergence herbicide for annual grass and broadleaf weed control in wheat and teff. This herbicide has provided a solution for farmers to control and eradicate weeds in teff, thereby increasing their yield from less than 1.5 metric tons per hectare to metric tons per hectare,” said Bajwa.

Ethiopia is one of the few African countries to have made significant progress in achieving the millennium development goals (MDGs), with one of highest reductions in poverty rates globally. Between 1995 and 2011, the country’s poverty rate decreased from 63 to 37 percent.

The Corteva Agriscience™ brand launch event, attended by sector representatives and ambassadors from key countries in East and Central Africa, also focused on strategies to scale up current collaborations to accelerate agricultural development as an engine of broad-based economic growth in the region.

Speaking at the launch, the United States ambassador to Ethiopia, Ambassador Raynor said, “The U.S. private sector, including companies like Corteva Agriscience, plays an impactful role in Ethiopia’s broader society as well, by encouraging sustainability and corporate social responsibility. By this, I mean the kinds of win-win commercial activity that benefit both our countries by bringing meaningful job creation; respectful and responsible labour practices; strong training and skills-development programs; technology transfer; and sound environmental practices to bear. Global companies like Corteva understand that they only succeed when their host communities succeed as well.”

At the official brand launch ceremony today in Ethiopia, Corteva Agriscience™ signed a collaborative agreement with the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to improve the productivity, livelihoods, food security, income security and well-being of smallholder farmers across Africa, including in Ethiopia.

“This collaboration will, among other things, boost our work to transform the lives of smallholder farmers by improving their access to yield enhancing technologies including but not limited to hybrid seeds, good agriculture practices, and post-harvest management,” said Vanessa Adams, VP for Country support and Delivery at AGRA.