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How can we save the seeds?

By Sukru Esin , November 2018

In horticulture sector, seed is one of the most expensive inputs and not always easy to find in developing countries. The risk of germination failure rate is high when farmer directly sow the seed to the field. Failure percentage is depending on seed and special conditions but in average 30-50 % of seed cannot germinate. But seedling growing is better option for farmers. Germination rate is 80-95% in greenhouse. Also have a bigger root development, this makes the plant stronger and lower their chance of dying.

In Ethiopia, seedling production is quite limited. The economy of the country predominantly depends on agriculture, which contributes about 50% to the total GDP and 90% of export items of which horticultural crops are the leading component. In 2013 for example, Ethiopia exported 220,213 tons of vegetables and generated USD 438 million. Commercial horticultural crop production is carried out mainly in the central rift valley and eastern part of the country. Most of the vegetables and fruit produced in the eastern region are exported to Djibouti and small amounts of fruit and vegetables are also exported to Europe, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

Small-scale producers involved in horticulture are estimated at 5.7 million farmers and vegetable seedling sector is not developed yet. Thanks to the ENTAG program(entag.org) MetaMeta has been promoting vegetable cultivation under tunnel greenhouse in Ethiopia and training local people on how to grow vegetable seedlings. If we can replicate this implementation in different part of the country and in different part of continent then definitely African farmers will save seeds (money) tremendously and with seedlings production will increase in Africa.

Species

Seed quantity in 1 gr

For 1 decare of land (1000 sqm)

 

Direct seed sowing (gr)

Seedling transplantation (gr)

Seed saving

Green pea

8

10000

8000

2000

Spinach

100

1200

700

500

Green beans

4

8000

6000

2000

Broad bean

1

3000

2000

1000

Parsley

700

10000

--

 

Radish

120

500

300

200

Celery root

1800

150

--

 

Red beet

50

1200

800

400

Tomato

300

80

8

72

Pepper

150

150

30

120

Eggplant

250

150

15

135

Melon

35

200

50

150

Water melon

15

200

60

140

Cucumber

35

200

50

150

Carrot

1000

400

--

 

Cabbage

300

60

30

30

Cauliflower

350

60

25

35

Lettuce

900

60

40

20

Leek

350

1000

500

500

Onion

275

700

--

 

Zucchini

14

800

150

650

      

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