Daniel Tesfu M&E and Communications Coord. via web
Members of Ibroary producer group in Kora Sub-watershed in Jarso Woreda was inspired by changes in other farmers’ lives who were working with DryDev and decided to form a group and approach the programme. Like other farmers of this dryland area, they were faced with the challenge of water scarcity. Nearby spring was the only water source. Usman Sheikh, the chairperson of the group recalls: we were used to dig ponds and water will be used within two months. People were used to fight over (spring) water. Water scarcity would result into low production leading to food insecurity and reliance on food aid. This group of 22 farmers were provided with training on soil and water conservation, compost preparation, post-harvest management, water use efficiency and savings and credit. While applying this knowledge on their individual farms, group decided to try water use efficiency using Drip irrigation. Drip kit were supported by the Woreda government and the group bought a motor pump on cost sharing with the DryDev. They decided to grow tomatoes, onion and chillies due to high demand in area. They work collectively on this piece of .75 hectares of common land. They shared with great excitement that how people were used to go to Harar (nearest town, 35 KM) and now they buy from them. So far, in the first season, they have sold 400 Kgs of tomatoes worth 8000 birr (US$ 400). ‘People pay in advance for the vegetables and we are struggling to meet very high demand in the area’, Usman Sheikh said. They have planned to divide the profits at the end of the season.
They have also started renting the motor pump to members of the group for use on their own farm, where they mainly grow potatoes. While they are proud of their efforts, they believe, they are on right track to achieve food security for their families.