AMU Project code 


Project status 


Project phase 


Partner/ country 

Fund for innovative Development (FID) (France) 

AMU coordinating office(s) 

Biology Department, College of Natural and Computational Sciences  


Project type 


Project location 

Arba Minch, Ethiopia 

Target Communities 

Smallholder farmers growing legumes in Gamo zone  

Project coordinator  

Ashenafi Hailu Gunnabo (PhD) 

Project manager 

Ashenafi Hailu Gunnabo (PhD) 


Ashenafi Hailu (PI), Meseretu Melese, Bereket Getachew, Alemayehu Letebo, Girum Tamiru and Beyene Kushe 

AMU contribution 

Provide laboratory and greenhouse facilities 

Total project budget (€) 


Project start 


Project end 


Contact person (e-mail) 

Dr. Ashenafi Hailu Gunnabo (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) 

Project Management Office 


Office of the Director for Grant and Collaborative Project Management: Dr. Thomas Torora (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


In Southern Ethiopia, food security is threatened by the limited soil nutrient, poor input supply and agronomic management problems. In particular, majority of the farmers owe small farms, who do not often use fertilizers, as the cost of fertilizer is very high, and accompanied by little in investment return. Finding alternative method to sustainably supply smallholder farmers with a basket of options to improve their crop production could change the situation and help them improve their income. To sustainably supply smallholder farmers and improve the production of legume crops, Arba Minch University proposes to use plant growth, promoting rhizobacteria. In Ethiopia, this proven methodology is rarely used and limited to larger cities.  The project aims at designing crop and location specific rhizobial inoculants to use as cost effective bio fertilizers, bringing this technology to smallholder farmers’ field in southern Ethiopia to sustainably improve their livelihoods. Smallholder farmers from 22 provinces will be selected for assessment, trainings and rhizobia collection to acquaint with the rhizobium technology before taking to their fields.  FID’s funding will allow to sort and reorganize laboratory and greenhouse facilities in Arba Minch University in order to explore rhizobia. In order to establish the key lessons from the intervention, the University will conduct survey and assessment of legume cultivation and production in the southern most parts of Ethiopia. This project will generate the first evidence of impact of the rhizobium technology on improving legume growth and production, especially in the southern most regions of Ethiopia.