Farm Africa, Bale, Ethiopia

Due to frequency of droughts, the general lack of training and the impoverished state that Ethiopia is in - agriculture is not a profitable industry, with many Ethiopians engaged in subsistence farming. When the produce they create is just enough to survive on, the income they generate is not enough to afford a good quality of life and basic ammenities are often lacking in favour of continued production. Farm Africa aims to provide support for the impoverished farmers and herders who struggled to provide for their families by providing them with training, food security and market management to ensure that they are truly making the best of the resources available to them. 

There are numerous programmes running in Ethiopia, Farm Africa have worked across the nation to improve the quality of life available to these farmers through delivering innovative and compassionate programmes to help lift rural communities out of poverty. In Tigray, Farm Africa work to ensure that food security is no longer an issue in an area where life expectancy is increasing, but education is not keeping pace. This, coupled with the small amounts of agriculturally profitable land available, has led to mass migration towards nearby towns where the threat of gangs, drugs and HIV/AIDS is highly prevalent. Farm Africa work with local communities in order to develop new skills for families struggling to survive - this includes book-keeping, goat herding and profit maximising through a development of the products created. This also works in tandem with a calendar that highlights key shortage periods in which the struggle for survival becomes hardest and in turn allows farmers to plan for these difficult periods by developing land for all-year-round foraging and production.

Farm Africa has worked closely with local governments in order to maintain forests and prevent deforestation from affecting the 12 million people that live in the surrounding areas of Bale. Farm Africa's work has seen the introduction of fuel efficient stoves that reduce the need for firewood and subsequently save thousands of trees from being cut down - which in turn helps to create a better environment through higher wildlife populations and a better water supply from the forest to the surrounding low-land areas. Much of the deforestation has taken place in order to create more arable land for the sake of farming, but with Farm Africa's training programmes, more locals are learning alternative skills that provide an income without destroying the surrounding environment. These forest development programmes have included the production of local and traditional products and turned them into enterprising businesses that allow the local inhabitants to generate their own income without resorting the farming in an area which has already been ravaged by agricultural pursuits.

The communities that rely on agriculture, whether arable or pastoral, have been assisted by Farm Africa who have helped to become more efficient with the land that they have access. This coupled with the income generating and boosting schemes has allowed many to escape the cycle of poverty induced by subsistence farming, with the help of Farm Africa many Ethiopians are improving their living standards across the agricultural regions.

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