ERSHA since its establishment has contributed a lot to improve the food security situation of many poor farmers due to improving crop, livestock, fruit and vegetable production, and productivity and engaging target beneficiaries in different income generation activities. The major interventions and results achieved are;
Farmers were assisted with improved crop varieties, technologies, and practices. The use of these improved seeds and technologies has increased yield tremendously, in some cases, up to three times more than the traditional varieties.In addition, to mitigate the negative effects of moisture-stress and recurrent drought on crop yield, several households were assisted to be involved in irrigated farming by financing the construction of small-scale irrigation schemes. The schemes are managed by Water Users’ Associations.
The users grow both food and cash crops at least twice a year. To date, they are in a better status in terms of meeting their food financial needs.With the major aims of diversifying crop production and income sources and improve household nutrition, ERSHA has been promoting vegetable/fruit and cash crops production by improving the target households’ access to seeds/planting materials and providing training on production and management aspects.
The initiative was widely adopted with encouraging benefits.ERSHA has been implementing different activities which include training farmers on livestock production and management, construction of veterinary clinics and posts, establishing and strengthening TseTse fly association, promoting forage production and supporting improved bull, Sinar donkey, sheep, and goat rearing initiatives. ERSHA believes that the depletion of natural resources is one of the contributing factors for food insecurity. ERSHA also believes that Sustainable development can be achieved if and only if natural resources are maintained. As a result, ERSHA a has been sensitizing communities on natural resources degradation and climate change, its impact on food security, and the importance of natural resources management.
ERSHA supported different individual and communal nurseries and provision of seeds, seedlings, and tools, promoting the production and use of improved fuel-saving stoves, establish and strengthen village level Early warning structures to effectively plan and implement disaster risk responses; promoting community conversation approach, through establishing and strengthening village level community conversation groups; establishing and strengthening School environmental clubs.
ERSHA has been supporting different capacity building training and experience sharing visits to improve the knowledge and skill of farmers and local development actors. ERSHA has been supporting different capacity building training and experience sharing visits to improve the knowledge and skill of farmers and local development actors.
ERSHA has also supported the production of improved fuel saving stoves to reduce the burden on natural resource beyond the women perspective problems. These all supports contributed a lot for sustainable natural resource management. To enhance the purchasing power of the target households, several women and men are assisted to engage in different on and off-farm income-generating activities by providing intensive trainings on business skills, entrepreneurship, and supporting seed capital, and linking them with different stakeholders.
To improve farmers’ access to the remunerative market, ERSHA has established and strengthened 14 Farmers Marketing Organizations (FMOs) and formed an umbrella union called Torban Kutaye Farmers’ Market Organization Union which helps to link the FMOs with different market chains and ensure their sustainability.
To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the FMPs and the union, ERSHA has introduced ICT which focuses on providing computers and accessories to FMOs to enable them to improve their database management and documentation, search agriculture, and market information through SMS and internet services and like.
Vegetable Production can cover the cost of living of the family
Debebe Teklu, 40 is a farmer who lives in Hadas Jidu village of Ifa Haka kebele. He is a father of two sons and two daughters. Debebe is a member of vegetable producer groups being supported by ERSHA. Before he became the project participant, his income was not enough to cover the cost of living of the family and he was forced to sell fuelwood to cope with the situation. He says, now the situation has changed for the better.
In the first place, I have benefited from the irrigation project we did with ERSHA which helped me to produce more in a year. Secondly, I received training on vegetable production and improved seed, and engaged in producing vegetables for market and consumption.
As a result, during the first harvest, I got Birr 7,000.00 from the sale of vegetables and bought two goats, and used the remaining to cover the cost of education of my children and for household consumption. My three children are attending school but I feel sad for not sending my elder son to school because of capacity limitation this was the time when I was producing sorghum alone. At the moment I have one ox, one cow, one heifer, two sheep, and two goats. I have a plan to expand my vegetable production and earn more income.
Mimi’s Journey towards Success!!!
Mimi Bizu, a mother of one daughter and two sons living in Bekelche Biftu kebele, said “I was leading a very difficult and below subsistence life, with no asset except a small plot of land. But the production from the plot was far below meeting food and other requirements of the family. Sometimes, I was seeking the support of my parents, especially during holidays. Six years ago I became one of the goat-rearing scheme beneficiaries and after receiving training on livestock production and management and two goats (ewes) started generating good income. As per the agreement, I transferred the first two born to another poor woman on the waiting list. I then sold the two goats and substituted with two sheep for easy management.
The sheep reproduced and came to be 16 and later I sold six of them for 4,600 birr and bought a cow for 3,000.00 birr and used the remaining 1600.00 birr to buy corrugated iron sheet and nails to construct a house, clothes and exercise books for my children.
In addition, I also became a member of Women saving and Credit Cooperative and started livestock trading after getting 6,300 birr loan. At the moment I have started building assets and I own ten sheep, two cows, and two calves, one donkey, and around 30,000.00 birr in cash.
I am now capable of feeding the family three times a day, cover the cost of education of the children and we are celebrating holidays at home.
This is a great achievement for a woman like me, who was in such a destitute condition some six years before. I am still working hard to meet my remaining aspirations: building a house in the nearby town to expand and diversify my business and educate my children in better schools. Thanks to ERSHA and ActionAid for the extended support”