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“I am not overstating to say ORDA is pupil of eyes of farmers”   Farmer Abraraw Baye

By Esubalew Dires

                                                 IFAD Guna0

Farmer Abraraw Baye and his wife w/ro Alem Gedam live in Lay Gayint district 04 kebele Mebel village. They have got a son and 4 daughters. Community Based Intergrated Natural Resource Management (IFAD Guna) of ORDA initially supported him 200 homestead apple fruit grafted apple seedlings, 20 root stocks for propagation of nursery seedlings and 3 quintals of ‘Belete’ & ‘Jalenie’ improved potato tuber since 2012.

The farmer obtained more than 20 quintals of potato of which 15 quintals of it were sold with 480 Birr each while the rest were used as a source of seed & family food. He earned more than 7 thousand Birr & deposited it in bank in 212. 

Though his homestead apple fruit is not yet ripened, he does nursery seedling propagation from the rootstock. In 2014/2015, he has planned to earn over 13,500 Birr. 

                                              IFAD Guna000 (2)

Farmer Abraraw earned about 3,500 Birr from eucalyptus seedlings produced in his nursery site in 2013. This courageous farmer opened his eyes to produce vegetables in his apple homestead. Hence, he is paid over 12,000 Birr selling cabbage. His family also began to consume nutritionally enriched food. Ato Abraraw harvested those improved variety potato seed in his quarter of a hectar land. As a result, he achieved more than 20 quintals of production. However, he was not able to earn much as its market price was highly diminished. The farmer said, “In this situation, like other difficult times, ORDA IFAD Guna gave me a single kg of improved wheat seed (Tay).” In his piece of farmland, he gained 75 kg with seed rowing. He added “In this case, I am not overstating to say ORDA is pupil of eyes of farmers. The organization is always with us during successes and hard times too.” 

Farmers in the area didn’t have production of wheat in this year as the local wheat seed was totally hit by frost and poweder mildew. But farmer Abraraw was able to get better production for the fact that ‘Tay’ resisted frost and poweder mildew. 

                                           IFAD Guna900

The project also persisted him its support in delivering 5 modern bee hives, a rope/washer pump and biogas in 2014. The planted biogas at his home makes his life simple. The family has got light and energy for cooking food. The family is in better health status now. Moreover, you would be surprised to visit how the farmer systematically drains its residual/fertilizer/ to the homestead garden. He uses neither DAP nor Urea for the production of fruits and vegetables including popato. In the area, Ato Abraraw can be considered as model in maximazing yield among members of the farmers research & extention group (FREG) established. Both the Organization for Rehabilitation and Development in Amhara (ORDA) and the Amhara Agricultural Research Institute (ARARI) plays great role in insisting farmers to use agricultural technologies. ORDA takes its part in delivering technologies in the project intervention areas while ARARI carries out technology generation and adaptation. Farmer Abraraw is also member of Mebela watershed. He is an energetic actor and facilitator of tarracing activities, soil and water conservation accomplishments in the watershed. Besides the natural resource development actions, the project of ORDA integrates different livelihood packages. The best example is watershed members are able to save & get credits with less interest at their village saving and loan groups (VSLGs). Ato Abraraw is chairman of “Serten Enideg” VSLG that members have a capital of 7,000 Birr. Members are as well participating in income generation activities /production of fruits and vegetables/ for a better livelihood.

During our stay, I posed a question to the farmer if Community Based Intergrated Natural Resource Management (IFAD Guna) of ORDA helped him build up assets. He replied “yes, ofcourse ORDA is the reason for my change. My whole life is transfered from empty to owning property.”
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He pointed out that from his very initial potato income in 2013; he bought a hybrid cow with 7,000 Birr. Now, he earns 220 Birr each month from its milk. Hence, a hybrid cow, 6 small ruminants, 2 donkeys, a mule and transitional and modern hives are to mention a few permanent assets to his life improvements. He approximately earns an income of 30 to 45 thousand Birr seasonally from potato, garlic, nursery seedlings and vegetables. The farmer extracted honey twice and he earned 100 kgs. These days, he feeds his children honey, milk and milk products and vegetables.

                                              IFAD Guna0000

Furthermore, ORDA enabled them to develop their capacity in trainings and experience sharing. Farmer Abraraw has started to deposit his money in Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE). He is envisioned to have dynamic change on his own agricultural sector. Particularly, he wants to focus on extensive production on apiculture, apple & other fruits and vegetables with better quality. He is also curious to buy his own car so that his excess production will be transported to market centers. The farmer hopes to create job opportunities to others in the near future. He has planned to build home around cities and wants to teach his children in a better school. While concluding his speech he advised a farmer to work harder. He adeded a farmer who is ready to work day and night will never starve. He promised to share his life experiences. 

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