Ethiopia is the largest producer of chickpeas in Africa and is ranked number six globally. Ethiopian chickpea production is expected to continue growing, especially with the increased investments in the chickpea value chain from government and donors. The number of smallholder farmers growing chickpeas in Ethiopia is increasing steadily from 802,473 (2006) to 877,728 (2011)1. However its participation in the international market for exports is low. Chickpea production in Ethiopia has increased from 210,000 MT in 2006 to over 320,000 MT in 2011 and the current price of both Desi and Kabuli type chickpea has shown a significant decline from USD $640/MT in March 2013 to USD $470 USD/MT in June 2013.
In the past twelve months, AGP-AMDe focused on finalizing seed initiatives started in coordination with ATA and building on those efforts to link producers to domestic and international buyers. Hence, 2,249 quintals of improved chickpea seeds were distributed to 3,697 smallholder farmers in 2012, with three FCUs playing a coordinating role; Becho Woliso, Lume Adama and Tsehay. As a result, an estimated total production of 36,500 quintals of seed and grain was availed after considering 20% crop damage during the planting and post-harvest activities. Out of the total production (and subtracting the 2,249 quintals provided through seed grant), it can be estimated that the 3,697 farmers became beneficiaries of worth of a more than 30,599,100 Birr (USD $1,667,526) from sale of their produce at an average price of 900Birr/quintal.