Ethiopian subsistence farmers use animals to work the fields. Photo: courtesy

Ethiopian farmer Nuri Awel was quite skeptical about the Israeli project Fair Planet,  a nonprofit that gives smallholder farmers access to cutting-edge seed technology and shows them how to get the most from these seeds with minimal changes to their traditional practices.

Awel was so skeptical, in fact, that at first he was lax about following the training recommendations. But once he saw the quality of the new plants, he became an enthusiastic follower.

“His yield was fantastic and he sold his tomatoes at excellent prices, ” reports Fair Planet founder Shoshan Haran. “Nuri doubled his annual income from his 1, 000-square-meter plot and is using the money to fix his house and send his son to college. One year later, Nuri has tripled his plot, bought more seeds and is implementing everything we taught him.”