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On Wednesday, January 15, 2014, World Vision Ethiopia (WVE) and the World Agro-forestry Centre (ICRAF) inaugurated a project entitled ‘Enhancing Food and Water Security for Improved Rural Commercialization’ at the Hilton Hotel.
The project, which is worth USD 15 million, will be financed by the Netherlands by way of the General Directorate of International Cooperation (DGIS). The programme that will take five years to complete will be implemented in the semi-arid regions of Tigray and the Rift Valley.
The main aim will be to help the rural community establish a sustainable means of nourishment as their current source of food is subsistence farming and emergency aid.
“The project is all about the most vulnerable communities,” said Margaret Schuler, National Director of WVE. “The DGIS project will strengthen household and community resilience and ultimately improve the lives of Ethiopian children.”
Erratic and extreme rainfall, expensive inorganic fertilizers, and declining farm sizes are some of the challenges of farming on the dry lands, according to Dr. Dennis Garrity, ambassador of the ICRAF. Decreasing soil fertility, rising temperatures and high population growth rates are other problems subsistence farmers in the region face.
The project will include all social groups in each village the organization works in, from the poorest to the wealthiest. Additionally, it will focus on making the voices of women and other marginalized groups heard and responding to their needs. The scheme will take into account inequality in access to land, labor and other resources between households with contrasting financial circumstances as well as economic differences between family members.
At the inauguration, Tefera Tadesse, Director of Natural Resource Management at Minster of Agriculture (MOA) said that better access to markets through innovation is exactly in line with the Ethiopian government’s plans and strategies.
“Combating land degradation, promoting and restoring natural resources and increasing food security are the government’s priorities,” said Tefera. “The Ministry recognizes natural resources to be the very foundation to our anticipated growth and transformation into industrialization through an integrated landscape approach.”
In 1971 World Vision Ethiopia first started working in the country, opening its first office in 1975. It has Area Development Programs in 80 woredeas around the country.