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Development Cooperation

Since 2012, KWS has been continuously engaged in Peru and Ethiopia to support young researchers particularly in conserving plant genetic resources, plant breeding, and establishing seed systems. In this context, KWS implements requirements of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. In Peru the focus is on corn and quinoa, in Ethiopia on barley and wheat.

The projects in Peru and Ethiopia will be able to pay for themselves in the foreseeable future, so that KWS can devote itself to new projects in south-eastern Africa to accompany and develop them once the active cooperation has been completed.

Find out here about our development cooperation activities in the following countries:

Projects in Peru

Challenges and goals in Peru

Due to the variable altitudes from zero to over 6,000 meters above sea level, Peru's climate and agricultural production systems are highly diverse. Correspondingly, Peruvian small-scale farmers cultivate a large diversity of quinoa, corn, and other crops. However, climate change and environmental degradation threaten this crop diversity. In addition, young people are relocating to cities and traditional knowledge about cultivation, use and conservation of the crop diversity is at risk. The consequences are chronic food shortages and prevalent malnutrition - particularly in remote regions. To increase the food security of Peruvian small-scale farmers, KWS is focusing on three important goals: Promoting the development of new corn and quinoa varieties, sustainable conservation of genetic diversity, and training young Peruvian scientists.

Field in Peru

Field in Peru

Our cooperation with local Peruvian universities enables us to reach more young people with our capacity development efforts.

- Bettina Haussmann, Manager Strategic Projects

Current activities and results

Bettina Haussmann, Manager Strategic Projects

“By focusing on the intersection of plant genetic resources conservation, plant breeding and small-scale farmers’ access to improved seed, CD Seed is an exemplary model project for bilateral benefit sharing in accordance with the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources.”

Projects in Ethiopia

Challenges and goals in Ethiopia

Ethiopia is a center of diversity for several crop species, including barley. In the face of climate variability and environmental degradation, it is of utmost importance to conserve this valuable diversity for future generations. Small-scale farmers dominate Ethiopian agriculture and need robust cultivars with high resistance to predominant abiotic and biotic stress factors such as dryness or fungal diseases. However, the availability of such robust cultivars is limited, as is small-scale farmers' access to quality seed.

Ethiopian woman in grain field

Ethiopian woman in grain field

Ethiopian village

Ethiopian village

Our “Capacity Development in Seeds (CD Seed)” project in Ethiopia therefore has the following objectives:

  • Professionalization of the national gene bank at the Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute (EBI).
  • Making plant breeding programs at the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) more efficient, with a focus on barley.
  • Improving small-scale farmers' access to high quality seed of barley and wheat.

The CD Seed project is embedded in a larger program on Supporting Sustainable Agricultural Productivity (SSAP) in Ethiopia funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture - with co-funding from KWS and the German Association for the Promotion of Plant Innovation (GFPi). The German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) leads the SSAP program and is therefore an important partner alongside the Ethiopian institutions involved.

Our cooperation helps our Ethiopian partners to develop new food and malting barley varieties more quickly and to foster their cultivation by small-scale farmers.” according to Bettina Haussmann.

Current activities and results

Your contact persons

Dr. Bettina I. G. Haussmann
Dr. Bettina I. G. Haussmann
Manager Strategic Projects
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