Many Hands, One Goal – Working Together to Improve Livelihoods
Common problems can be tackled with integrated efforts
One of the implementation strategies of CPAR-Ethiopia is to address the food insecurity problem of the Jarso Woreda community through a group approach. When people work together in addressing development problems, they overcome issues that individuals would not be able to overcome on their own.
Villagers in Abo Yayebena Kebele of Jarso Woreda, were not users of vegetable, they did not grow them nor consume them. Prior to CPAR’s intervention, they had no idea how to produce vegetables in their garden, and were not aware of the nutritional benefits vegetables have for their households.
Under the support of the Farmers First program, Bedesa Lale Jema vegetable producer group was organized in mid-may 2009 in the village. The objective is to produce vegetable crops in groups, in addition to their individual food-crop production. The group was established with 23M/4F members with 713 Birr ($45CDN) start-up working capital which was contributed by members of the group and pooled together.
The group has grown and flourished. Currently, the group has 34M/14F members and more than 6000.00 Birr ($375CDN) working capital generated from the sale of vegetables which were produced on rented land from one of the members.
From the beginning, CPAR was there to provide expertise and training to the group members as well as material and technical support. During the June – October, 2010 production season, the group was provided with a total of 5.3kg of vegetable seeds (onion, carrot, cabbage, beetroot, lettuces, tomato, and pepper) and generated more than 4045.00 Birr ($253CDN) from the sale of onions alone. As well as some 1500 Birr ($94CDN) from the sale of Teff which is an important food grain in Ethiopia, that is high in dietary fiber and iron and provides protein and calcium. In addition to the income they generated, the group members have now added vegetables to their diets and have thus improved their health and nutrition.
The success of their vegetable gardens has motivated the group members to scale-up their vegetable production and continue farming even during dry season using furrow irrigation. Currently, the group has onions on ¼ of a hectare of rented land and is planning to re-invest the income generated for further scaling up.