About the Technologies
Berhanu is a very ambitious young businessman trying to start a potato flour business. With a little help from the Ethiopian Sustainable Food Project and the engineers at the Ethiopian Research Institute, he has a chance to grow his business of selling potato flour and grain blends. The blends made with potato flour are much cheaper and have a better nutritional spectrum. Women prefer the taste and texture of the Ethiopian bread made from the blended flour.
The production of disease-free seed of the improved potato varieties has been extremely slow. Farmers are dependent upon the Ethiopian government to produce and distribute the seed. Farmers are begging for the seed on every farm we visit. There are 80,000 hectares of potatoes grown in this area, and at present most are very low yielding local varieties. These farm families are totally dependent upon potatoes to feed their family during part of the year. Seed potato growers like Asfaw are willing to pay for the disease-tolerant seed. Producing these new varieties could be very successful. Some Ethiopians can see this potential and would like to develop this business. Ermias is one of these ambitious young men.
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