On October 20, 2013, Amuari High Yielding Varieties and Agricultural Products P.L.C., organized a field day in East Shoa zone of Oromia region. Amuari is a company that buys basic and pre basic seeds from research centers and multiply on members plot. Couple of years ago, IPMS, precursor of the LIVES project, introduced the idea of cluster seed multiplication to a group of farmers. The project took part in capacity development of the seed producers’ as well.
On the field day, farmers, university professors, EIAR researchers, regional seed enterprise officials, and representative from international research organizations attended. The participants visited four improved seed production fields of Amuari that were planted with Kuncho and Boset teff varieties. The producers explained how they prepared the land, sow the seed and applied herbicides in times of weed outbreak.
After the field visit, the group discussed on the status of Amuari and the trend of privately produced teff seeds. Amuari representatives reported that the company, founded in 2012, had sold about 3500 quintals of improved seed to the Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR) seed enterprise in 2013. It also sells to Ethiopian seed enterprise, and organized farmers group. The company has plans to expand it service and produce forage seeds, organic manure, and livestock products. Amuari works closely with Debre Zeit Agricultural Research Center, and recently has applied for certification license from the Ministry of Agriculture.
On this field visit, it was reported that this year, about 100 ha of land is cultivated with improved teff seed (kuncho and boset) on contractual arrangements between member farmers and the company.
The involvement of private sector in seed production and distribution is a new endeavor, and definitely the right move with huge potential to contribute positively to the agricultural development of the country.
(Contributed by Berhanu Gebremedhin and Kaleb Shiferaw)