World Food Programme Ethiopia – Purchase for Progress Case StudiesSMALLHOLDER FARMERKenasa Folisie, a male head of household in Southern RegionFarmer Kenasa Folisie at a GlanceLocation:Korate Dollo Village, SNNPRFO affiliation: Jara Gelelcha PC and Sidamo Elto CUMember since: 2007Spouse member NoHousehold head: Male (Kenasa)HH members: 6: Kenasa, his wife, his mother, one son, and twodaughtersHa cultivated: 1haCrops cultivated: Maize, beans, enset, vegetablesLivelihood sources: Agriculture and livestock fatteningAssets:House with corrugated iron roof, chairs, bed, radio,livestockPrimary cooperatives: beginning to fill service gapsMembership in Jara Gelelcha Primary Cooperative (PC) hasprovided Kenasa Folisie with important services, including inputs likeirrigation, improved seeds and fertilizer, as well as credit and new marketopportunities. The cooperative fosters supportive relationships betweenfarmers, too. Before the organization formed, Kenasa says, “We were runninghere and there” as individual buyers and sellers. “Now we benefit fromFarmer Kenasa Folisie in his fieldcooperation.” While borrowing and sharing has always been a part of the localculture, he says, if one cooperative member does not have the down payment for something, that person can borrow fromother members. Additionally, the cooperative is responsive to member needs. When members appealed to the PC executivecommittee for fertilizer, Jara Gelelcha supplied it. When they requested storage space, a 2,000 quintile warehouse was built,to which Kenasa contributed Eucalyptus wood and 160 birr (11.7 USD) worth of stones. Since joining, Kenasa says he hasbecome a more productive farmer, producing higher yields.This year, the farmer received a loan for improved seeds through Self Help International, an NGO partnering withJara Gelelcha, allowing him to buy the seeds with 50% down and the rest at harvest time. When Jara Gelelcha distributed itsseeds, it held informal, consultative meetings to train farmers in their use. Improved seeds require more inputs and morework, explains neighboring female farmer Batrie Messow, but with irrigation produce higher yields than locally adaptedvarieties. Jara Gelelcha, located on the lowland shores of Lake Awassa, offers a highly demanded irrigation service. The PCis divided geographically into irrigation groups, and provides each group with a motorized water pump, service andmaintenance. Pump users cover regular running costs like lubricant, oil and fuel. Both Batrie and Kenasa would like their PCto expand its irrigation service and offer more pumps, since the number of times they can harvest per year is tied to theirability to irrigate their fields.Thanks to its new warehouse, Jara Gelelcha will be able to begin aggregating and selling commodities for the firsttime in 2010. The PC has a verbal agreement to sell to Sidama Elto, the cooperative union (CU) to which it belongs, which inturn is (at the time of this writing) finalizing a contract to sell to Purchase for Progress (P4P). Kenasa believes that sellingdirectly to Jara Gelelcha, which he hopes to do this year, will be much more convenient than to previous buyers. With pricinginformation gleaned from friends and neighbors returning from making their own sales, Kenasa travels to distant markets tosell his produce. The best market, in Awassa, is 27km away over rough and at times washed out dirt roads. Tula, the nextbest location, is still 23 km away. The local market 6km from his farm pays much lower prices than the other two. Previously,small traders would come to Kenasa’s farm to make purchases but they have stopped in recent years. Jara Gelelcha’sexecutive committee attributes this to the deteriorating roads.Unlike his PC’s leadership and his neighbor Batrie, Kenasa did not cite market price fluctuations as his main reasonfor wanting to sell through a contracting farmer organization. But Kenasa, unlike Batrie and other local farmers, has a systemfor post-harvest storage at his home. Kenasa can wait out the market slumps and sell his produce—provided the roads allow
him to get to markets—when prices are high. To survive the highly variable markets in Ethiopia, post-harvest storage at everylevel from the household to the cooperative union is key.Despite appreciating the services Jara Gelelcha provides, mainly in the form of inputs, Kenasa feels the services inhis area are incomplete, and he has many ideas for improvements. Both he and another farmer member Batrie complainedthat the quantity and diversity of improved seeds available is too limited. Kenasa would like to be able to purchase improvedseeds for onion, maize, cabbage, tomatoes and beans. He would like more water pumps for irrigation. Additionally, he says,his community needs improved road construction and maintenance, to facilitate access to markets. Despite his location nearLake Awassa, Kenasa says his village lacks clean, potable water. He would like to see fuel saving technology, like improvedstoves, available. The local school is too far away, he says, forcing his kids to travel to the neighboring Kabele or village. Andwhile the houses on the main road have electricity, the rest of the village has none. Once his house is electrified, whichKenasa hopes will be provided by the government, Kenasa looks forward to buying a television.Growing polycultures (mixed cropping) on small landholdingsKenasa has an ID entitling him to his one hectarefarm, with both his and his wife’s name on the card. Before,he explains, women could not own land, but now they haveinheritance rights. While land is owned by the government inEthiopia, Kenasa feels tied to the land he works. “I personallyfeel I own it,” he says. “Without my permission, thegovernment wouldn’t do anything on that land.”Kenasa, like most farmers in his area, practicesmixed cropping of maize and beans, for householdconsumption first and sale of any surplus. During the Belgrainy season, with the help of irrigation, he cultivates cabbage,onion, and potatoes, also for consumption and cash. Hedivides his hectare in half, devoting one part to long-maturing,rain fed maize, and the rest to irrigated vegetables, from whichhe can usually obtain two harvests. Lately he has triedKenasa’s bamboo storage allows him to waitrotating potatoes and peppers in with his maize, too. Cropuntil maize prices rise following harvestrotation is important to control disease and pests, and resultsin a higher quality commodity, with better color, he says. Hegrows enset (false banana) for household consumption only. While none of his fields are fallowed, Kenasa employs someconservation techniques, like leaving stalks on the field after harvest as cattle forage. Choosing not to clear the field createsmulch and prevents erosion, while cow manure mixes into the soil as a cheap form of fertilizer.In choosing what to plant each season, Kenasa is responds to changing conditions. Last year, when maize priceswere high, he devoted more of his land to maize. This year, he predicts the pepper crop will be destroyed by pests anddiseases, so he will probably grow fewer peppers next year. His maize, too, is threatened by insects, a worm that eatscornstalks, and from wilting on the field. As mentioned above, post-harvest storage is very important to Kenasa, as he neversells his crops at a low price. He would rather sell cattle to pay debts and other pressing costs than bring his produce tomarket directly after harvest, when most people try to sell their surplus, driving prices down. He keeps his crop in traditionalbamboo storage, with a mat on the floor and chemical fumigants obtained from the Office of Agriculture to kill pests, and a catand traps to catch rodents.Kenasa’s household can afford to hire laborers (neighbors who help with weeding), but the entire family works thefarm. Children add fertilizer after school. His wife prepares snacks for the workers and threshes the fields. He plows.Marketing decisions are made jointly with his wife, who is a member of a Savings and Credit Association. Last year, sheborrowed 2,000 birr (146.7 USD) at 14birr/year (1.02 USD) interest to buy a heifer. She sold its calf and repaid her loan.Cattle fattening is an important source of income for Kenasa’s household, after agriculture.Sharing responsibilities and decreasing women’s workload?Kenasa says that his PC’s services are not biased by gender, but explains that instead it is farm size that is the mainlimiting factor deciding how much a member benefits. However, since according to the Ethiopian Ministry of Women’s Affairsin Ethiopia one finds “smaller size holdings among women” than men, services that target larger landholders exclude most
women, even if unintentionally. 1 Kenasa states that though its women members have not reflected any special needs orpriorities to the cooperative—an opinion that is clarified by Sidama Elto CU’s female deputy manager, who explains thatwomen’s informal requests to their PCs tend to go unrecognized in those organization’s formal business plans—they find theorganization equally as important to them as to men. Indeed, Kenasa’s wife is now preparing to join, having alreadyundergone the PC’s orientation. Kenasa believes that as more women join, they will encourage others to follow. There is noquestion amongst any of the informants from Jara Gelelcha or Sidama Elto that women benefit from PC membership. Butfemale farmer Batrie and CU deputy manager Simret Simana explain that those benefits are constrained by a lack of womenin leadership and decision-making positions to prioritize the specific services for labor and cultivars practiced mostly bywomen, and to the service gaps felt more severely by women.When asked about the gendered division of labor within his household,Kenasa says that while women work in the fields alongside men, their agriculturallabor does not cause any problems with also doing all the housework. Thiscontrasts to the sentiments of female farmer Batrie who jokingly said she wishedher farmer organization would hire household help for its female membersbecause women are so overburdened with chores they have less time to devote tofarming. Kenasa later notes that if his wife is too busy with household chores shewill not go out to the fields and he would like to hire a maid for her. But, heexplains, gender relations are changing in his community, reducing women’soverall workload. Before, women had to fetch firewood and carry water home inbuckets on their backs, as well as cook, clean, care for children and carry compostto the fields. Now, says Kenasa, thanks to the preaching of Protestant Christianityand the emergence of a new generation, the men help. He also attributed thischange to recent availability of improved technology like donkey carts and plasticjerrycans, which have made carrying water a much less arduous task. Now menalso help cut the enset (false banana) for the staple dish kocho, whereas beforeonly women brought this home, he adds. “Before the Bible preaching,” Kenasasays, “the wife was not considered a sister, but now she is. Help your sister, don’thurt her. Men have changed.”Children gather to watch as Kenasaparticipates in a P4P case studyFindings1. Non-agricultural services can limit farmers’ agricultural production. Poor road maintenance restricts market access,lack of potable water can result in illness and high transportation costs in money and time to retrieve clean water, anddistant schools can reduce children’s ability to help on the farm, potentially discouraging schooling. Support for farmersmay require support for these kinds of holistic development needs.2. Household storage enables farmers to wait for high prices—but remains rudimentary. By being able to store hiscrop at home, Kenasa is able to wait for higher prices, putting him in a much better place than neighboring farmer BatrieMessow who complained about low prices after harvest. Post-harvest storage has been cited at every level, from farmersto PC to cooperative unions, as a key element mitigating price fluctuations.3. Multiple income sources enable farmers to wait for higher prices. Because Kenasa has other sources of income(and storage), he is able to hold onto his crop until prices rise, whereas other farmers must sell when they need cash.4. Improved technology can relax gendered divisions of labor. Horse and donkey carts and plastic jerry cans, forexample, change the nature of arduous chores like hauling water and firewood, making them easier and faster to perform.Technological changes and the encouragement of gender sensitivity trainings have resulted in recent blurring of the linebetween “men’s chores” and “women’s chores.”1 Ethiopian Ministry of Women’s Affairs. Nation Action Plan for Gender Equality. Addis Ababa: 2006. 6.
Interviews Cited\Mr. Kenasa Folisie, farmer (male, 26 years old)Date: 18 June 2010Location: Korate Dollo village, Jara Gelelcha kebele,Awassa Zurie district, SNNPR, EthiopiaInterview language: Sidamo translated to AmharicTranslator: Mr. Agemsah Amelo, Gara Gelgelcha PCInterviewed by: Yibeltal Fentie, P4P EthiopiaJara Gelelcha Primary CooperativeMr. Agemsah Amelo, chairperson (male, 42 years old)Mr. Hamsa Amelo, treasurer (male, 38 years old)Mr. Bereket Berisu, secretary (male, 30 years old)Date: 17 June 2010Location: Korate Dollo village, Jara Gelelcha kebele,Awassa Zurie district, SNNPR, EthiopiaInterview language: AmharicInterviewed by: Yibeltal Fentie, P4P EthiopiaMs. Batrie Yirdaw, farmer (female, 30 years old)Date: 16 June 2010Location: Korate Dollo village, Jara Gelelcha kebele,Awassa Zurie district, SNNPR, EthiopiaInterview language: Sidamo translated to AmharicTranslator: Ms.Simrat Simano from Sidamo EltoInterviewed by: Yibeltal Fentie, P4P EthiopiaSidama Elto Cooperative UnionMs.Simret Simano, Deputy Manager (female, 28 yearsold)Date: 18 June 2010Location: Sidama Elto Office, Awassa, SNNPR, EthiopiaInterview language: Amharic and EnglishInterviewed by: Yibeltal Fentie, P4P Ethiopia
Appendix: Summary of key issues and indicators to be tracked over timeKey issues/indicatorsServices from PC and position inleadershipSupport from other actorsMajor buyers of produceSource of market informationMajor commodities producedQuantity producedTiming to sell producePost harvest practicesProduction constraintsGendered division of labourCredit received so far and cash inaccountLivelihood sources and LivestockDescription of current statusSeed (maize) & fertilizer. Some market information (No position in leadership)Extension service from government, credit from saving and credit organizationTraders, mostly in AwassaNeighboring people, travel to market, the PCMaize, beans, enset, vegetablesAnnual average: Maize (2-2.5 Mt-1.5 Mt for sale), beans (0.3 Mt -0.2 Mt for sale)Stores until high priceTraditional bamboo with a mat on the floor, chemical fumigants, a cat and traps.Lack of improved seeds, water pumps, poor roadsHe plows, wife threshes & does all HH labour; decision-making is both2,000 ETB (146 $) from SCO for livestock fattening; 1,000 ETB (73 $) in bankAgri & livestock fattening (2 ox, 4 bulls, 5 cow, 2 sheep, 4 goats, 1 donkey)