Chickpea is one of the major pulses grown in Ethiopia, mainly by subsistence farmers under rain fed conditions. It is one of the main annual crops in Ethiopia both in terms of its share of the total cropped pulse area and its role in direct human consumption. Ethiopia is the world’s fifth largest producer of chickpea.
Chickpea is grown across the highlands and semi – arid regions in Oromia and Amhara, which account for 90% of chickpea production nationwide. The Desi and Kabuli chickpea varieties are two types of chickpea produced globally. Kabuli or garbanzo type is usually large-seeded with seed size ranging from 6mm to 8mm with a smooth, cream-white seed coat color. The Desi variety of chickpea, widely grown in the country, is small-seeded with seed size ranging from 3 mm to 6 mm, and has a hard, reddish-brown colored seed coat. On average, world production consists of about 75% of Desi and 25% of Kabuli types. Ethiopia’s production consists of 90% Desi and 10 % Kabuli. For the 2011/12 period, the total areas under chickpea development was 231,298 hectares with annual production estimated at 400 tons.
AGP Chickpea Activities
AGP-AMDe is operational in 14 chickpea producing woredas in the Amhara and Oromia regions. The broader activities undertaken by the program for the chickpea value chain consist of:
Enhancing productivity of farmers by facilitating market linkages between buyers and FCUs. In the last quarter, AGP-AMDe enabled signed sales agreements for the provision of 200 tons of chickpea to one of the largest nutritional food processor in the country by two FCUs.
Technology transfer support by working in collaboration with research institutes in the production, multiplication and dissemination of improved chickpea seed to small holder farmers. Support is also provided to private chickpea seed producers and food processors who are working on value additions on chickpea.
Enabling access to finance for infrastructure support through the provision of grants. AGP-AMDe will enable the construction of the first fertilizer blending factory in the country. This is expected to result in significant change towards sustainable supply of inputs with affordable prices for small holder farmers.
Technical Training Support on improved seed utilization, post-harvest handling for lead and smallholder farmers and management training to primary cooperatives and union staff. The main objective of these trainings is to introduce and enhance the desired skills to smallholder farmers as well as cooperative staffs in the production and handling of quality chickpea. Additionally, entrepreneurship training mainly focused on enhancing business knowledge has been part of the training provision to female and youth entrepreneurs in chickpea producing woredas.