Millions of poor livestock keepers depend on the availability of forages and fodder to feed their livestock throughout the year. In Ethiopia, and elsewhere, a critical constraint to the wide availability of animal feed or forage is the lack of profitable and sustainable forage seed companies.
The ‘FeedSeed’ project at the International Livestock Research Institute is working with national public and private partners to help create a sustainable forage seed supply system in Ethiopia. The idea is to help local entrepreneurs start up forage seed businesses, mainly by establishing a public business incubator that can provide training and mentoring to the entrepreneurs. Once going, these enterprises will produce and sell quality seeds to the wider farming community, increasing livestock productivity and raising incomes of livestock farmers.
From 7-11 April 2014, the project organized a technical and business skills development training course for potential forage seed entrepreneurs.
Hosted by project partners the Ethiopian Meat and Dairy Industry Development Institute (EMDIDI), the course assisted project business clients (farmers, private companies and cooperatives) to start up or expand forage seed businesses and ensure a good return on investment. The training covered both technical and business skills and also business development topics which were identified by the trainees during the pre-training assessment. Trainees also visited Eden Field Agri Seed Enterprise – another project partner – to better understand the business environment.
The project on ‘piloting climate-adaptive forage seed systems in Ethiopia (FeedSeed)’ is funded by the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Intenationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.