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“Is there anything worse and disgraceful than poverty?” Farmer Gebyanesh Ambaw

By Esubalew Dires

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The Organization for Rehabilitation & Development in Amhara (ORDA) is playing a significant role for an overall development of the region. Graduation with Resilience to Achieve Sustainable Development (GRAD) is one of the projects of ORDA which has been secured from USAID through CARE Ethiopia with a total budget of the project that accounted about 72.2 Million Birr.

ORDA- GRAD: Brief Overview 
Project Duration - 1 Jan. 2012 to 30 Sept. 2016 = ( 5 years)
Target Woredas- Lay Gayint and Libo Kemkem = 2
Target kebeles- 39
Target Beneficiaries- 18,012
Target VESAs- 792
VESAs replicated - 119
VESAs Members - M= 13,411, F= 5,584, T= 18,995
Total project budget - 72.2 Million Birr
Donor - USAID through CARE Ethiopia
Implementer - ORDA

ORDA- GRAD project has been carrying out activities to improve food security for chronically and transitory food insecure households at Libo kemkem and Lay Gayint woredas. The project has planned to target 18,012 PSNP households directly with 13,863 of them expected to increase their incomes by $365 /annum and graduate from PSNP.

For the past five years, GRAD has been carrying out varied value chain and Income Generation Activities (IGAs). In both ORDA intervention woredas, beneficiaries have been engaged in livestock (shoat, cattle fattening, poultry), crop production (malt barley, haricot bean, potato and onion), apiary, vegetables and fruits (mango, guava & papaya). As a result, beyond getting nutritionally rich food, households have started generating a diversified income.

Trainings have also been given on a variety of commodities considering farmers interest/demand driven/ before they got involved in value chains. GRAD excels better in livelihood improvement of PSNPs than other projects in forming village-based economic and social associations (VESAs). Hence, more than 900 VESAs were formed both in Libo Kemkem and Lay Gayint woredas over 39 intervention kebeles.

Without exaggeration, GRAD played its best in changing the life of beneficiaries and absolutely possible to deduce GRAD as the best project that has put remarkable/fruitful achievements in those areas. This is especially true that many farmers who own land have got the capability to produce their farmland instead of renting.

W/ro Gebyanesh Ambaw and Ato Adane Ayele, whose economic activities are highly relied on agriculture, are a married and mummy and daddy of 6 children. They raised their children in tough and challenging circumstances for many years. They were also safety net beneficiaries until they graduated in 2012.

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Though this family owns 3/4th hectare of land, they rented it for the rich farmer as the incapability of the owners to produce crops. They earned half a production of their farm; however, the production is used for a half year only. They are seriously hit by food insecurity trouble. Immediately after they graduated from safety net, they started to involve at ORDA-GRAD. The project strategically designed livelihood improvement techniques and formed village-based economic and social associations.

Farmers were also involved in trainings with regard to saving and business management, production of crops, fruits and vegetables, livestock development and gender which played a great deal for the betterment of life and social transformation.

In the first round (2014), the project supplied seed for cabbage, tomato, spinach and carrot. Different from family’s use for food, they earned a total of 7 thousand 5 hundred birr which they never experienced it before. 

In the 2nd term (2015), the farmer gained a total of 6 thousand 8 hundred birr. The source of this income was 3 thousand birr from cabbage, 7 hundred birr from salad, 6 hundred birr from carrot, 500 birr from papaya and 2 thousand birr from 10 quintals of improved potato seed.

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In the 3nd term (2016), they expect over 12 thousand birr from onion, garlic, potato, tomato, mango, papaya and orange productions. Moreover, the project provided them 4 hens and a cock and the farmer get 1 thousand 8 hundred birr from egg selling. 

We paused a quest whether their life is changed due to the intervention of the project. The farmer exclaimed, “It was nice if I could show you my internal satisfaction and confidence I developed. Is there anything worse and disgraceful than poverty? Currently, we ran away from aid. We have achieved food security and overall progress. Thanks to ORDA-GRAD, we are now eating a balanced diet. We also changed our small old hut to a new home from corrugated iron. We own 2 oxen from a single ox; send our children to school fulfilling educational tools; developed the habit of saving and aware of gender equality.”

Graduation with Resilience to Achieve Sustainable Development (GRAD) has fruitfully changed the livelihood of many farmers in those intervention kebeles. Hence, it is recommended for other developmental projects of ORDA to share magnificent experiences of GRAD.

However, beneficiary farmers are still complaining about the weak market linkage for onion production. A collaborative effort of concerned government bodies is highly required in order to solve market problem.

Last Updated (Tuesday, 12 April 2016 12:07)

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