MADISON, Wis. (8/19/14)--More than 44,600 farmers in three Ethiopian regions increased crop yields and incomes with the support of a development program from the World Council of Credit Unions.
|After receiving chickens through the World Council of Credit Union's program, more than 3,800 model farmers in Ethiopia generated higher household incomes through increased egg production. (World Council of Credit Unions Photo)|
The World Council worked with farmers and 165 rural savings and credit cooperatives (RuSACCOs) in Tigray, Oromia and Amhara to expand financing for agriculture and to promote savings.
Farmers learned how to transition to commercial food production from subsistence farming, learning soil and water conservation techniques along the way.
They also were trained on planting techniques and crop diversification that produced higher quality and more nutritious food.
By the end of the program, savings per RuSACCO member increased 89%, and loans per member increased by 167%.
Primary crops were introduced to diversified vegetable and grain crops that increased farmers' incomes by 129%. Secondary crop production--up by 150%--allowed farmers to continue to grow food for their families despite severe drought conditions.
The 2009-2014 program was funded by the monetization of 23,000 tons of wheat through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food for Progress program.