Farm Africa’s Tigray Food Security Project’s Influence on the Ethiopian Economy
By admin April 7, 2015

Letay Gebre-Michael and her son with goats

Farm Africa is a UK-based charitable organization that was established in 1985 and works with farmers, pastoralists, and forest communities in eastern Africa. Farm Africa believes that Africa has the power to feed itself and that its smallholders hold the key to lasting rural prosperity. They work directly with farmers to help them unleash their potential to feed the citizens of Africa. The charity provides training to help these groups to grow more food, look after their livestock, and make a living using their natural resources sustainably.

Farm Africa has recently implemented the Tigray Food Security project, which is partly funded by the UK’s Department for International Development. The project uses innovative initiatives such as goat rearing to enable poverty-stricken individuals to create a living in Tigray, where many inhabitants remain unaffected by Ethiopia’s growing economy.

The project is based in the central zone of the Tigray region where 80% of the population lives in rural areas and levels of poverty and malnutrition are very high. The majority of the population produces less than half of their annual minimal food requirements and 89% of the population earns less than £2 per day. In the Tigray region of Ethiopia, many women and increasing numbers of young people have no access to land. As a result, many women struggle to produce enough to feed their families from small plots of land. Women in this region have worse nutrition than the national average, and a recent survey showed that nearly a third are underweight.

The Tigray Food Security project aims to help women and young people increase their incomes and improve their nutrition standards. The food security project supports communities in Tigray in increasing their annual income through beekeeping, goat rearing and poultry farming. It also aids in the development of fruits and vegetables orchards on rehabilitated land and explores opportunities for adding value to their crops.

The Food Security Project works directly with 11,337 women and 400 landless youths, providing them with crops, livestock, and training, while more than 48,300 people will benefit indirectly from the project. The food security project and the cooperation of the Tigray Regional Government and other key partners to undertake research and to develop a model for food security initiatives has helped Ethiopia score high in economic achievement in reducing poverty. This stems from the agricultural growth, which is driving the reduction in poverty. According to the recent Poverty Reduction Assessment by the World Bank, life expectancy has increased and progress has been made towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, particularly in gender parity in primary education, child mortality, HIV/ AIDS, and malaria in Ethiopia. Innovate initiatives like this Food Security Project, are taking a step in the right direction to address many issues, particularly food issues in Africa.

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