ethiopia farmersEthiopia faces a strong challenge of improving crop productivity. In response to this crisis, the government of Ethiopia has put in place a five-year growth and transformation plan which aims to double crop yields. A major focus of the plan is to support use of integrated soil fertility management technologies (ISFM) that increase agricultural productivity on a sustainable basis. The Ethiopia Soil Health Initiative (ESHC) will support this initiative by bringing together different stakeholders (research institutes, academic institutes, Ministry of Agriculture, regional Bureau of Agriculture, and various NGOs) to discuss the nature, effectiveness, and accessibility and dissemination of prioritized ISFM technologies. In doing so, available effective ISFM technologies at a country level will be identified, and put in a database for easy access by stakeholders.

Launched in September 2013, through funding from AGRA and coordination of IPNI the ESHC enjoys support from the national, regional and international institutions research and dissemination institutions. It has brought together a team of scientists, extension personnel, university faculties, policy makers and private practitioners to collate and harmonize ISFM information from across various agro ecologies in Ethiopia. It is anticipated that through use of GPS coded datasets, site specific recommendations will be developed. The consortium will facilitate knowledge sharing through various channels including scientific, extension material, policy briefs, websites and digest, a biannual prints and e-media newsletters. It will also collaborate with programs conducting ISFM demonstrations to showcase effectiveness of selected ISFM technologies and commission studies to understand policy and technical constraints for advisory purpose to government, researchers and private sector.

The specific objectives are:

  • Improved access to ISFM information to key stakeholders in Ethiopia Activities
  • Enhanced capacity in harmonizing and consolidating ISFM innovations in Ethiopia
  • Enhanced dissemination of ISFM innovations by developing knowledge products in Ethiopia

The expected outcomes of the project include:

  • A functional ESHC that will harmonize ISFM information and dissemination efforts
  • A repository and database of ISFM information for Ethiopia.
  • Improved crop productivity through more effective dissemination of ISFM technologies by consortium members.