Ethiopia: How CARE helps farmers grow more

Beleta Hode, a farmer in Ethiopia, holding a bowl of haricot beans

Graduation with Resilience to Achieve Sustainable Development (GRAD) is a programme that aims to significantly contribute to sustainable food security for households in rural Ethiopia.

With GRAD we hope to lift 50,000 food insecure households from the government's productive safety net in 16 targeted woredas (villages) and increase each household income by $365 dollars a year. All this can only happen by working with the community, and people affected by food insecurity. These are some of their stories.

Beleta Hode

Beleta (pictured above) is a widow of 12 years and lives with her 11-year-old son. She owns half a hectare of land and only grows haricot beans. She has one heifer and one ox. A second cow died after she had owned it for only three months. When the cow died she was very upset and worried how she and her son would be able to survive. These days she worries about educating her son and providing clothing to feed her family. She has been involved in GRAD program for 10 months.

"Since taking part in GRAD my family is healthier, I bring value to my household and I share my learning with my uncle's family. We are happier and our future is brighter".

Desta Seba

© CARE / Josh Estey

Desta Seba and his wife Hana Eliyas have four children. The family farms 1 hectare of land, cultivating maize, inset (an indigenous crop), haricot bean, chat, teff, banana and coffee. They have three goats, eight chickens and four cows. They only eat meat once a year. Before GRAD the family would eat two times a day, consisting of inset and maize.

"Through GRAD I have been able to save money for the first time in my life and I can now buy essential items for my family like salt, soap and baby food." They have been involved with GRAD for two years.

Wota Dakama

Wota Dakama and her husband Felo Yilima farm 3/4 hectare of land and grow maize, haricot bean, chat, sweet potato, inset, coffee plants, cabbage. They have two cows, one heifer, one ox, two chickens, and two goats. They have been involved with the programme for a mere 10 months.

Before GRAD there was a shortage of food and they didn't have any animals. "Compared to the rest of my village, my standard of living was very poor. The community selected us to participate in GRAD because we had nothing. Our life was not good before, it was so hard our children were hungry. Our crops failed and I felt ashamed."

"We ate three times a day but not good food.

Now we eat more and have more variety of food to eat.

"We now cook with butter, salt and milk and my family is healthier than before."

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News and stories are provided by CARE staff working to support our emergency responses and long-term development programmes.