Agriculture plays a vital role the livelihoods of rural population in Ethiopia. For farmers in Ethiopia, extreme weather events during growing and harvesting seasons can cause serious damage to agriculture. Farmers’ production decisions like the allocation of farm inputs are influenced by such events. Due to erratic rain and shortage of landholding size, farmers in Fetequma woreda, South Wollo, have been producing lower output and inefficient in the use of their land. Their crop productivity and food security has been detrimentally impacted by drought.
We celebrate world food day by promoting agriculture, food and investments on agriculture to increase production of food products through our integrated natural resource management project. The project aimed at enhancing food security and reduce vulnerability to adverse impacts of climate change by integrating soil, crop, livestock and natural resource management practices in Fetequma.
Cordaid Ethiopia installed High Density Polyethylene (HDP) pipe to allow efficient use of water for the farmers. Through these pipes, farms get water from the nearby river which reduces their dependence on rainfall.
Mohammed Nuru Saeed is a farmer in the Fetequma woreda, who has benefitted from Cordaid Ethiopia’s intervention. The impact the project had on him and his family was substantial. “I almost fled to Mizan (a town in southwestern part of Ethiopia) in search of work. My farm suffered from drought and I could not feed my family.”’
Fetequma is a lowland area and the rain it gets during the winter season is not enough for farmers to get through the year. The HDP pipe resolved that issue, as Mohammed explains, “Since the HDP was installed last June (2020), I was able to produce 3 times. Previously that was not possible due to lack of rain and river water. But now, as you can see, I am waiting for the fourth produce, which will be ready in a month or two.”’
The impact of this project exceeds food security. As most farmers start to work prominently on their farms, jobs were also being created for them. “My wife was set to leave me as I failed to provide for my family. I was not working so I had no income. But now, I am working hard on my farm. I even work during night hours with my flashlights on. Not only that, all my children are also working on this farm which means the project also helped in creating jobs.”
Moreover, this project aimed at building a flourishing community that is more resilient to natural disasters like floods. Mohammed says the project also helped him gain respect within his community. “Before the project, I was an outcast in my society. People say ‘leave him be, he is a lost cause.’ But as soon as Coraid Ethiopia gave me this opportunity, I started working hard on my farm. My value in the society has gradually improved. What seemed a bleak prospect was turned into a bright happy future for me and my family.”