Farmers serve as models for others
CPAR’s food security programming works in such a way that when done right, knowledge and skills are easily transferred to neighbours and community members beyond the direct target of a given project. In the case of both Farmers First and BSG FSEG, two DFATD-funded food security programs in Ethiopia, farmers are doing much, much more.
The agricultural department in Ethiopia conducts farmer field days, where groups of farmers visit the plot of a certain farmer identified for her or his production. They may have achieved high production levels by adopting a certain crop variety and/or improved agronomic practice that the department wants to encourage other farmers to adopt as well. Time and time again, farmers participating in CPAR programming have been selected to serve as the model farmer during these field days.
Take for example Bake Osiad, from Dibate. He participated in training on improved agronomic practices and applied them to groundnut production for the purpose of seed multiplication. After a successful harvest, he was identified as a model farmer. A number of farmers, alongside government representatives, from all 8 Kebeles in Dibate, visited his groundnut plot to witness his success and learn from him. When asked how he felt about the day Bake explained, “I felt it was a very great day. I was happy and happy to hear of the comments I received.” The pride on Bake’s face when he talks of this day and experience is visible. He is eager and willing to share what he has learned with others in his community so that they may improve crop production too.
In Jarso, the Women, Youth and Child Development Office, organized a day in which they recognized well-performing women farmers with the objective of motivating additional women farmers to adopt new and successful approaches to farming. A number of women farmers from CPAR’s Farmers First program were identified and awarded for their success. Women such as Shewaye Bedane andTejie Getachew, whose stories you may have read in earlier entries, were awarded for their outstanding performance in wheat production and potato production, respectively.
By serving as models for the communities in which they live, these farmers are expanding the reach of CPAR’s programming and strengthening the levels of food security in targeted areas.