The traditional development concept among the members of the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church was practical even before the current development approach institutionalized during early 1970s. It was deep rooted into the local church structure so that each local church had   developed a labor contribution day per week on behalf of a given local church. That means that each member of the local church contributes one Labor Day to his church and the church uses it in a number of ways, including:

  • Working on church farming activities, fencing and constructing/maintaining the church,
  • Assisting elderly people, widows, and orphans with their plowing and planting, constructing houses, etc.  
  • Selling man-days to those members on high labor demand to raise funds on behalf of the church to further support the existing church services, etc.

This approach was purely indigenous and dominant development model existed prior to early 1970’s before the donor assisted large scale projects introduced into the system. Such projects came into existence following the droughts and subsequent famines occurred in the country, particularly in the northern parts of the country.

EKHCDC, to improve the livelihood and Food Security of the rural community, applies integrated rural development and food security approach via the introduction of improved farming techniques and animal husbandry methods as well as the protection and sustainable management of natural resources. CA (Conservation Agriculture) is one of the technical farming practices applied in FS projects. Income generation activities like bee keeping, highland fruit productions, vegetable production for nutrition and income etc are also applied.

Within all food security projects, women empowerment is also incorporated via mainstreaming gender concepts, engaging women and the land less youth in various entrepreneurships like stove making, poultry & small ruminants keeping, establishing various SHGs etc.

Since 1970s, EKHCDC has been implementing different integrated rural development projects in various parts of the country focusing on food security as well as adding to the value chain with emphasis on:

  • Improving production capacities of target households with the objective of making them food-secure year-round,
  • Protecting and  rehabilitating the denuded environments through integrated water shade management and agro forestry practice,
  • Increasing and sustaining household incomes and  protecting their livelihood,
  • Accessing women to resources and technologies to help them engage in additional income generating activities aimed at improving their physical and mental wellbeing.

The major strategies being in use include:

  • promoting  the implementation of environmentally friendly soil conservation farming system,
  • transferring technology and establishing demonstration sites,
  • selecting and training model farmers to  provide them with the necessary skills and technologies and arranging experience sharing to benefit others,
  • Disseminating packages of appropriate technologies using the existing system,
  • Working with communities at grass-root level thriving households,
  • Networking with local and international stakeholders in the area of advocacy, good governance and mobilization of resource to  promote self-supporting programs

Most activities/projects by the food security and value add chain unit focus on improving the food security of target households and addressing the immediate needs (for example, providing access to credit services) and long-term needs (for example, assisting them own businesses and to develop collective strategies to address collective problems) of women.

 Types of projects being implemented include:

  1. Agriculture-based activities
  • Promotion of conservational agriculture
  • Multiplication and distribution of high quality fruits and cash crops (including: highland temperate fruits and lowland fruits, spices, coffee, medicinal herbs etc.),
  • Vegetable gardening
  • Seed multiplication and establishing community seed-bank groups
  • Livestock development through, cross breeding (including: bull and AI services) and veterinary services, as well as improved forage development,  
  • Provision of  heifers,
  •  Provision of revolving fund for pest control
  • Establishing demonstration sites and nurseries for seed multiplication and distribution 
  • Training medium level agricultural extension workers with specific focus on higland fruits and medicinal herbs.
  • Introduction and promotion of apiculture (providing modern beehives)    
  1. Small scale irrigation to improve and increase annual crop yields
  2. Environment protection:

Rehabilitation of the denuded environment through area closure, tree planting and construction of physical soil conservation measures

  1. Women development focuses on:
  • Women development through home management  and  child care
  • Providing trainings on:
    • soap making,
    • sewing and embroidering,
    • secretarial service and computer training,
    • hair dressing, etc.  
  • Income generation schemes providing credits in kind  (for example: small ruminants, improved seeds, inputs for poultry production) 
  • Organizing marginalized women in groups for small scale  businesses, for example: owning and running grinding mills directly related to their immediate needs, and
  • Introducing and distributing of energy saving stoves and Enset (false banana) processing equipment.
  1. Establishing and supporting cooperatives  and self-help groups ( SHGs)
  2. Providing supports for school and adult literacy programs
  3. Constructing rural feeder road
  4.  Mainstreaming HIV /AIDS prevention and control mechanisms involving local Anti-HIV/AIDS clubs along with producing and distributing campaign materials.

Current there are two active projects located in SNNPRS

  1. Zalla Food Security and Women Empowerment Project – which is envisaged with the overall goal of contributing to improved food security and livelihood status of 1,850 food insecure households with a total population of 9,065 people (4540 female and 4525 male).
  2. Kucha CCT project aimed at empowering target churches and communities through providing condensed CCT holistic transformation training to enable them to adopt and carry-on the sustainable components of the previous EMCC supported development projects.

Zala Food Security & Women Empowerment Project Summary Report from December 1, 2019 to May 30, 2021

Zala Food security & women empowerment project is envisaged with the overall goal of contributing to improved food security and livelihood status of 1,850 food insecure households with a total population of 9,065 people (4540 female and 4525 male) in 10 kebeles of Zala Woreda by the end of the project period (end of November 2022). The scope of the proposed project focuses on promotion of conservation agriculture (CA) & empowering women socially & economically through SHGs aiming at improving households’ capacity to produce enough food to feed their household members and also improve the livelihood & food security status of the Zala community in sustainable way. The project is planned to be implemented in three years period from December 2019 – November 2022. The total estimated three year budget for the implementation of the project is 13,402,474.00 Ethiopian birr

The indirect beneficiaries will be 21,080 people (10520 male & 10560female) residing in the 10 kebeles. Thus, 30,145 (15045 male & 15100 female) community members will benefit from the project in the above listed 10 Kebeles of Zala Woreda 

Objective of the project are

1. Increased food production capacity of 1850 beneficiary farmers by the end of November 2022

2. Months of food self-sufficiency (Increased number of months that crop production meets annual household cereal food needs) of 1850 beneficiary farmers increased by the end of November 2022

3. 750 women socially & economically empowered by the end of November 2022

Specific objectives include 

  1. Conservation agriculture practices adopted by 1850 beneficiary farmers the end of Nov 2022
  2. Conservation agriculture promoting system in place by the end of November 2022
  3. Socioeconomic status of 750 women’s enhanced through Self Help Groups (SHGs) by the end of November 2022
  • Planned Activities

The planned project activities includes envisioning government staff & target community mobilization, selecting & training CA facilitators /animators/; beneficiary farmers , government development agents and project staffs on conservation agriculture principles &Practices; provision of inputs seed like drought tolerant maize and green manure cover crops & provision of mulch materials ; establishing CA demonstration sites & farmers Field schools , organizing farmers field days,  forums  and  Experience sharing visit ; Introducing CA friendly farm tools ; Develop linkage & participate in CA HUB and likeminded organizations and Promoting & establishing SHGs

  • Targeted beneficiaries /Number of people benefited

The project is planned to benefit 1850(850 Female) chronically food insecure poor households marginalized & disadvantaged groups of people and female headed households with a total population of 9,065 people (4,540 female and 4,525 male) in 10 KAs of Zala in three years period. And hence up to the end of May 30, 2021, the project managed to benefit 820 (267F) beneficiaries (HH) through conservation agriculture and 772 women through SHG approach. Among the 772 SHG members 528 women were either themselves or their husband are a CA beneficiaries)

The indirect beneficiaries were 21,080 people (10520 male & 10560female) residing the 10 kebeles.

  • Project cost (in cash and in kind)

In the last 1 and half years, out of the planned 13,402,474 birr to run the project for 3 year period,   EKHCDC managed to secure 7,299,604.99 from the donor Tear Fund Canada and birr 7,083,623.08 was used to run the project

Major Activities accomplished

  1. The required project staffs, other necessary equipment, materials & warehouse fulfilled. 
  2. Project launching -in the beginning of January the project was officially launched .During this 50 participants from respective Zonal Woreda level government officials & community representatives from the 10 kebeles were invited for a one day workshop and discussions. After the discussion the Zala Woreda administrator in his closing speech gave directions and instructions to all participants to support the implementation of the project and all sector government offices to consider the project as their integral part of their plan.  
  3. Envisioning government staff and target community mobilization – at each kebele the project provided and carried a sensitizing discussion meeting with community representatives, religious leaders, kebele administrators and leaders,  government extension workers women and youth groups. During this, the participants were briefed about the project – objective and scope of the project, which benefits comes from the project and why the project focuses on CA
  4. Beneficiary selection and registration
  5. Training workshops for facilitators /animators/-

The 20 animators were provided with 5 (five) round seasonal practical training workshop on CA. During the training a question posing approach was applied in which the trainer and the trainees openly discussed on each topics which the workshop addressed.

Animators during training

  1. Training farmers – Following the training given to animators the 5 round modular training was given to the 800 (267 F) registered beneficiary farmers on CA practices. Then after all beneficiaries applied and started CA on small plot of land varying from 100 to 1500 M2

         Farmers on CA training

  1. Training agricultural extension workers and project staff- 2 round a 3 days training workshop was organized for 40(10F)government agricultural Extension staffs and project staffs. The objective of the workshop is to acquaint and equip the extension workers with the CA approach so as they can be able to support the farming community technically and also to ensure the sustainability of the farming practice. After the training the participants were given CA training facilitators guide prepared in Amharic language

Government and project agricultural Extension staffs training on CA

  1. Provision of Seed and inputs – the project distributed 21.37 quintals of maize seed BH 540 which is suitable to the project area to 820 (267F) beneficiary farmers. Additionally 220 kg of green manure covers (pigeon pea, cow pea, velvet bean, vetch and lablab and 11 M3 of mulch materials & grass seed cuttings of elephant & desho grass distributed to the 220 (66F) beneficiaries.
  2. Demonstration and research – CA is new the project area, and hence practically illustrating and demonstrating the appropriate CA technology and principles for the farming community and also the agricultural extension workers are very helpful for its adoption and promotion. For this, 15 demonstration sites were established by the project in all 10 Kebeles (one at each kebele). The sites are established in 10 FTC owned by Office of Agriculture and Natural Resource Development and 5 church compounds.

Demonstration sites covered by mulch in Bayo Zema and Galma sites

One-month-old maize crop in Bayo Zema and Galma sites

                              2.5 months old maize in Galma and Galta demonstration site

  1. Organizing farmers’ day – Field days are an opportunity to promote CA for the farming community in which farmers will discusses & share among themselves on the results of the farm practices. At the end of the 1st year Farmers Field day (one at each kebele) were organized and averagely 100 (1000 in 10 kebeles farmers were participated on the field day. After the field days, 600 new CA beneficiaries were chosen and registered as year 2 beneficiaries. This makes year 2CA beneficiaries 820 HH.
  2. Forum –the project organized 2 forums in the last 18 months for 50 government & non-government workers & actors working in the district. During this the project presented short report on project achievement and then head of office  agriculture and natural resource development  moderated a plenary discussion on CA benefits  and shortcomings.
  3. Experience sharing visit – The project organized experience sharing visits/ study tours/ for 50 selected farmers and Development Agents to show conservation agriculture activities  implemented by SCORE – Arbaminch and TDA – Wolita Soddo

u. Introducing CA friendly farm tools – the project introduced CA friendly farm tools like 81 Berken Maresha ripper & 2 row planters for small grains. The Berken mareshas were distributed to 81(30F) good performing farmers as rewarding & encouragement while the seed planters were made available for all beneficiaries’ communal use on rotational basis.

  1. Sensitization communities on SHG concepts, principles and formation – about 1100 community members, kebele leaders and beneficiaries were contacted and discussed about the concept and principles, as well as how to form SHGs.

Community meeting during sensitization

  1. Organizing women into SHGs – 772 women who agreed to establish SHGs were grouped into 40 SHGs (23 SHGs in the last 6 months) in the 10 project beneficiary kebeles with 17 or 20 members based on their kebeles (sub kebeles). Each member of SHGs saves 5 to 10 birr per week in their respective SHGs, All established SHGs chosen their own secretary and two representatives and gave a name for each SHG. The average saving of individual members up to the end of this reporting period is 168 birr varying from 60 to 490 birr. The 772 SHG members collectively saved birr 127,110(one hundred twenty seven one hundred and ten birr) in 18 month period. Beside the project SHG record indicates that out of the 772 SHG members 663 of them were involved in IGA activities in which they manage to generate an average amount of additional money of birr 1889.91 varying from 500 to 7000 birr. 

Andinet SHG in Bayo kella Kella on their weekly meetings & experience visit to Adama

  1. Identified gender – conducted prior to the inception of the project following the situation assessment to complete the project proposal
  1. Baseline line survey, annual impact assessment – At the beginning of the year a base line data & gender roles, practical and strategic needs survey was collected and compiled to use it as bench mark for measuring the change brought. For this purpose 132 (43F) randomly selected beneficiary households from all beneficiary kebeles were interviewed using structured questionnaire through individual house-to-house visit. In line with at the end of the 1st Year impact assessment data was collected from the same 132 (43F) beneficiary farmers
  2. 40 (2F)  church leaders & project staffs  from  20 local churches existing the 10 kebeles (EKHC, MekaneYesus, Orthodox &  Egizabiher Church) were provided a 3 days training on CCT focusing Envisioning the local churches about the CCT model  and Church and Community transformation

Church & community leaders training on CCT

  1. To improve the data collection from manual to e data collection  all required equipment’s which include 8 smart phone, 1 wi-fi apparatus and earphones were purchased and made available for use beside  10 staffs

Staffs on Kobo training

Results attained

  • 820(267F) CA beneficiaries and 244 women NCA beneficiaries (the total registered SHG + CA beneficiaries= 1064)
  • 10 introductory meeting at kebele level conducted (one at each kebele)
  • 57 CA training workshops facilitated (50 training workshops for CA farmers at kebele level, 5 training workshop for animators and 2 training workshop for Agricultural extension works)
  • 20 animators trained on conservation agriculture principles & methods
  • 800 (267) CA farmers trained on conservation agriculture principles & methods
  • 40(10F) government and project development agents trained on conservation agriculture (CA)
  • 0.22 MT of gm/cc, 2.137 MT of drought tolerant seed and 11 M3 of grass seed cuttings distributed to 820 (267F) CA beneficiaries
  • 15 functional CA demonstration sites established
      • farmer’s field days on conservation agriculture conducted (one at each kebele)
      • Conservation agriculture forums for woreda level Stakeholders organized
  • 663 women engaged in different income generating activities
  • 40 functional SHGs with a total member of 772 people established
  • 772 women trained on women’s right and gender relations
  • One gender assessment survey conducted – gender roles, practical and strategic needs identified & reported