Self Help Africa’s Agricultural Cooperative Development Programme seeks to strengthen the organizational capacity of farmers unions, so that local farmers have better access to training, farm inputs and opportunities, can produce both in bulk and to market quality requirements, and can provide the necessary supports to their farmer members.
Self Help Africa’s Agricultural Cooperative Development Programme is working with farmers unions in the Sinana, Agarfa, Dodola, Zeway Dugda Bora, Ejere, Welmera districts of Oromia Region, and in Mareko, Sodo, Silti and Lenfuro in SNNP Region in Ethiopia.
Agriculture is the main economic activity in region, with wheat (teff) and barley amongst the most common crops produced by households. The region is also known for its production of coffee – and produces upwards of 50% of all coffee in Ethiopia.
The overall project aim is to reduce the vulnerability of 100,000 people in Oromia and SNNPR by the end of 2011, and to specifically improve food security and access to agricultural inputs for 17,500 households.
Self Help Africa’s Agricultural Cooperative Development Programme is working with cooperative unions to increase production, diversification and marketing of food crops, vegetables and livestock produces for 17,500 members of participating co-ops.
The project is also working with these unions to strengthen union capacity, is providing training and support to primary cooperatives, and supporting government extension services with their delivery of services to the wider farming community.
The farmers cooperation unions who are collaborating with Self Help Africa, and with the Southern Region and Oromia region Bureaus of Rural Develop[ment and Agriculture are:
-Meki Batu Vegetable and Fruit Growers Cooperative Union
-Walta Farmers Cooperative Union
-Melik Farmers Cooperative Union
-Raya Wakana Farmers Cooperative Union
-Siko Mendo Farmers Cooperative Union