Undaunted by erratic rain
Many like to call Diredewa a town of peace and tolerance.It is a land inhabited by people who speak their mind upfront and ask whatever they feel like. The town is marked for rail transport. It entertains numerous trade activities. Apart from the Keble-towns it houses, on the peripheries, Diredewa is encircled by rural Kebles.
It is to be recalled that in 2007 the floods, which feed the Dechato river emanating from these villages, had spelled havoc on the town following the inundation of the river. Consequently, people of Dire Dewa had suffered a huge death toll and sustained physical injuries as well as material destruction— a catastrophe the absence of a physical and biological conservation work brought in its wake. Since that time now, the rural Kebles have carried out numerous physical and biological conservation and water-harvesting works. In so doing, aside from, to some extent,averting the anxiety of heavy-flood-born destruction looming large on Diredewa's sky, they have begun to bump up the yields they get from their agricultural engagements.
Shemesedin Abduraheman is one of the farmers that turned his life around engaged in such a venture. He lives in Adada Keble, 25 kilometer away from DireDewa town. Farmer Shemesedin is engaged in vegetable and fruits production. Apart from feeding his family, he has managed to get returns supplying his yields to market. As his locality is characterized by shortage of rain, he had to dig for a water well. Diverting the water of Hamesa river, which is contributory to Dechato river that used to inundate Diredewa, for dry seasons, he harvests water in this well of his. Marked an outstanding farmer, he had won prizes in farmers' festival held at federal level in 2015. Though his farming plot was small, utilizing it effectively and bumping up his onion, tomato, and avocado harvest he had managed to display a huge change. This zealousness had won him prize as a token of recognition. Though it is only a half hectare land he has, collecting yields twice or trice per year he has begun to get from 50 to 70 thousand birr per year . When he tends his land he heeds the words of Development Workers. He was forthcoming in seeking expertise. In diverting rivers to his well during rainy seasons he was sure to get the say of experts. After winning prize as an outstanding farmer he is transformed into an investor. Parallel to that, he runs mills and supermarkets. He has also purchased a vehicle worth 400 thousand birr. Also around Diredewa's industrial park he has built a blocket producing shade. As a result he has created job opportunities for four. This farmer is a father of five. Four of his children go to school. He has a son that has become a teacher. The pat on the back he was accorded in 2015 at Federal level has uplifted his passion for working better than his best. Inspired by his passion and following his footstep fellow farmers in the neighborhood are aiming at a similar turnaround. He happily shares his experiences to other farmers and practically shows them how to apply inputs such as select seed he prefers to use. In so doing he makes them enjoy better returns.
Next he wants to build another flour mill. He also cherishes a dream to ripple his stone mills and blocket producing shades across and beyond his locality. He has created job opportunities to many.
A farmer who draws lessons.
A cradle of coffee, Ethiopia is marked for feeding the global market with the sought-after coffee Arabica. As we refer Kaffa the cradle of coffee, we single out Jimma as a zone famed for a quality and volumes coffee. The fact that visitors see a huge coffee pot in a square by the gate of the historic zone confirms this fact. It is safe to claim that all Weredas in the zone widely produce coffee. They as well widely supply their yields to market. Yamana is one of the Weredas. In this Wereda, there are many farmers that produce coffee. In Gube Basika Keble of this Wereda lives an energetic farmer,who goes by the name Shafi Aba Feta Aba Cheresa. He is a father of four. Marked an outshining farmer, he had won prizes in farmers festival held in 2008 and 2009.It is good to see here his works that merited prizes in the row and how he managed to cup his efforts with success? He has a coffee farm. He attributes part of his success to the coffee seedlings by the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Institute. Since 1996 producing coffee widely and in better ways he has begun to reap increased harvest. When he was nominated for the prize he already had a 1.5 million birr capital. Initially, it was with a conviction to change his life for the better he worked hard but not to win the prize. As the saying goes two birds with one stone, he feels gratified for the prizes he got as a token of recognition to his perseverance. The recognition has fueled his passion for additional feathers in his cap .He ascribes the success stories he portrayed in the row to this achievement. The farmers festivals he attended and that brought together many farmers and experts as well as the field tours in which he participated had stirred in him a deep feeling of shaping one's fate through exertion-based effort. In the experience-sharing forums seeing the ups and downs model farmers passed through to emerge successful has lent power to him to persevere in the face of challenges. Years back before he got prize he was leading a hand-to-mouth life. Applying modern farming-techniques on his small farming plot, as he managed to scale up his returns, he and his family members have begun to enjoy balanced-diets daily. Shortage of food,a common phenomena previously, no longer assails his family. Thus, now ,he is of the opinion that to effect change in one's lifestyle one has to be changed first. He cites himself as an example of change farmers and even a nation should emulate, provided, armed with modern trends, all is out to shape destiny with determination. He emphasizes “It is possible to kick start change with things in ones hand!” Once more citing himself as an example he notes that it was on a hectare of land he started farming. When he plants coffee he checks its type and species. He attentively follows his farmland. He is also well known for using artificial fertilizer. As a result he has began better yields. He recalls that it is he who managed to increase his agricultural surpluses from4 to 8 per cent per quintal to12.5 per cent per quintal. He still believes he has yet a lot to do in increasing yields both in quality and quantity. This way, bit by bit, increasing his capital he has now over 10 million birr currently.
Now he has become an investor. He has built residential villas in the near by town. Moreover, currently he has coffee stores,coffee pulping machines and 16 hectares of land covered with coffee. In the coffee farm interspersing he plants all that thrive on the gifted land. For instance he develops vegetables and fruits —avocado, mango and banana— and the like. He has also modern beehives. Attentively observing what he is doing on the field as well as comparing and contrasting his previous yields and that of the present one farmers in the neighborhood draw lessons. His zeal induces a similar feeling in them. He seconds their testimonial. As he and his neighbors are born and brought up there, all have no room to doubt the astounding changes that are taking shape before their eyes. All agree the farmer has moved one step ahead. Seeing gaps between his field and theirs they immediately address their short falls.
Farmer Aba Sifa Aba Feta utilizes to the full every available support he gets from development workers. He doesn't wait till development workers come to his plot. He meets them going half way and sees to their advises with alacrity.
This is one of the secretes behind his success, according to him. Research institutions nearby too follow his progress with probing eyes. When PhD candidates come to test select-coffee seedlings he allows them a spot on his farmyard to conduct their studies. In return he reaches a deal with the researchers to tell him the outcome of their research results. According to their agreement, before they depart the researchers disclose to him better ways they discovered through research.
Moreover he pulps and readies for central market the coffee he collects from his land and from fellow farmers in the vicinity. Adding value on coffee he has joined the investment circle. The fruits of his hard work, aside from benefiting him, has created job opportunities for many in the locality. He has 16 permanent workers and on the average close to 85 causal workers. He has a multifaceted role in the locality as an investor as well as a development agent. He extends financial backup,gives advice, inspires others for suggested changes and coordinates farmers.
By ALEM HAILU
(Original Story By Tewabe Chane, From the Publication of the PR Office of MoA)