1 Potato, 2 Potato, 3 Potato, More!
Ato Gari Wakjira, aged 60, is responsible for feeding his family, made up of his wife and four sons. He is a farmer on two hectares of land which he owns. Farming is his livelihood. He produces Teff, Beans, and chickpeas during the annual harvest however, this was not enough for his family’s consumption year round.
Were-Jarso district, Ethiopia where Ato Gari and his family live, had the potential to produce different crops including Irish potatoes. Unfortunately, the production of potatoes was not being realized due to farmers’ lack of experience, the high cost of inputs and the lack of marketing channels.
Considering these potato production problems, CPAR-Ethiopia under the Farmers First program introduced two types of certified potato seeds (Jalene and Gudene varieties) and organized Farmer Field School groups in target communities. Ato Gari joined the Dire-Qufa Farmer Field School group where he participated in training on potato production and management. Upon completion of the training he was given one quintal, equivalent to 100kilos, of certified Gudene potato seeds.
“Prior to the training on potato production and management, I had no idea how to produce potatoes and how much money I can make out of it. I now have a life changing knowledge on potato production and management which made me eager to use part of my land for its production. After a month I will have almost 20 quintals of potatoes in addition to the other food crops I am producing. You can imagine the additional income I can earn from the sale of potatoes”.
In addition to improved seed provision, Ato Gari participated in community training on agronomic practices, Gender-Based Violence, HIV and AIDS prevention and saving and credit management conducted at the community level. He also has access to peer discussion and continued support through the Farmer Field School group.
 Ato in the Amharic language is the equivalent of “Mr.” and is used widely by Ethiopians of various linguistic backgrounds
 Dire Qufa is an Oromic word which means idle field.