Your Impact: Farmers’ Associations
“I am a model farmer in my country. I produce 60 quintals of corn per hectare, but the other farmers produce 10 – 20 quintals per hectare. The land is the same. The weather is the same. But the difference is knowledge and experience.” – Workineh Genetu
With a desire and vision to share his farming knowledge and experience with others in the community, our Project Leader, Workineh Genetu, formed the first Project Ethiopia Farmers’ Association in 2007. The goal was simple from the beginning: By training a core group of farmers in each village to improve their practices and increase yield, knowledge would spread naturally among families and neighbors to eventually impact an entire community.
Each association is comprised of 50 farmers who are highly motivated to improve their farming practices and willing to share what they learn with others. Association members meet monthly to exchange information and receive training on a variety of farming topics provided by Workineh or government and NGO trainers. In recognition of their commitment to share what they learn with others, each member receives 5 high quality sickles for harvesting, support setting up a savings account, and an item from a “menu” of farming aids/tools based on individual needs.
This past May, Project Ethiopia formed two new Farmers’ Associations in the Ziguda and Simalta communities. There are now 7 active Farmers’ Associations with total of 350 members reaching farmers in 10 communities. The ripple effect in action!
But there’s more! Recently the government of Ethiopia selected 20 model farmers from throughout Ethiopia to receive low-interest loans and technical assistance to expand production in the areas of beef and dairy products especially for the export market. Five of the twenty farmers selected to participate, are Workineh and four other Dangla-area farmers who are members of a Project Ethiopia Farmers’ Association!
Congratulations to Workineh Genetu and his fellow farmers from Dangla on being selected for this opportunity!