The Federal Plant Variety Office supports Ethiopia in harmonizing its seed production system with international standards. Ethiopia aims at providing their predominantly self-sufficient small farmers with good quality seed. This will enable them to better make use of Ethiopia's agricultural potential in the future.

To this end, experts from both sides are analysing the existing Ethiopian plant variety and seed system in comparison with the European plant variety protection and seed legislation. In addition, the Federal Plant Variety Office (BSA) advises the Ministry on the revision of its legal requirements. The establishment of an Ethiopian testing system for variety listing and variety protection is also supported.

The technical discussions, seminars and study tours take place within the BMEL's programme "Supporting Sustainable Agricultural Productivity in Ethiopia (SSAP)". The project phase lasting until January 2021 is currently evaluated and the subsequent phase (2021-2024) planned.

Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world. Its population growth is fast. In 2020, the country had about 112 million inhabitants - compared to 22 million in 1960. Approximately 70% of the workforce is employed in agriculture. Although many parts of the country offer climatically favourable conditions for agriculture, Ethiopia is unable to exploit this potential due to outdated farming methods, a lack of agricultural technology and a lack of high quality seeds. To ensure an independent food supply, to promote economic growth and to reduce poverty, the Ethiopian government is striving to expand the agricultural sector.

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