Improved seeds strengthen food security

The project, led by CPAR (Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief), strengthened the food security of 420 farming households, in the Dibate district, by favouring the participation of women, a vulnerable population in the region. The project created seven Farmer Field Schools (FFS).

Yeguke is from Gesses kebele, Dibate district. She's 55 and has two grown sons. Until recently life was very hard. She grew finger millet, maize, sesame, and haricot beans, but her yield wasn't enough to meet her family's needs. She had to collect firewood and burn charcoal for sale so that she could earn money to buy food. "The burden of poverty was high on us", Yeguke explained. "If I couldn't burn charcoal and sell firewood, my family would die of hunger".

Thanks to the project, Yeguke accessed training on improved agricultural practices and was provided with improved seeds of haricot bean, sesame, and finger millet through the project. She received the seeds on loan basis. As her crops performed well, she managed to harvest 400 kg of haricot beans, 300 kg sesame and 700 kg of finger millet. She paid her loan back to the FFS group and the group passed it on to another farmer. Yeguke explained that produce from her last crop lasted well into September. Last season, she sold the surplus for 600 birr (about USD 13) with which she bought a goat.

When asked about her plans for the future, Yeguke explained that she has a plan to buy a cow when she could sell the goat's offspring.