CEO, Self Help Africa
I’m writing from Ethiopia, a country where one-third of the population lives below the poverty line, mostly in rural areas.
For over 35 years, our focus has been on helping farmers collaborate. In doing so, we aim to help people increase the quantity and quality of food grown on their small farms.
Helping independent farmers grow
But our collaboration work doesn’t begin and end on these family farms. Therefore there’s little point in helping farmers grow more food if they can’t sell their surplus in viable markets. Helping farmers collaborate internally in cooperatives is vital in the fight to end poverty in Africa. This is so that they can store, transport and find good markets for their produce
Putting money into the pockets of impoverished farmers enables them to invest in the health, education and welfare of their families. We don’t see our collaboration work as charity – instead, we believe we’re investing in these families so they can work their own way out of poverty.
Farming collaboration is essential for survival
Up to 80% of the people in Ethiopia and across much of sub-Saharan Africa rely on small-scale farming for their survival. We’ve worked this year with 350,000 of these families, helping them to grow more on their land and, crucially, increase what they can earn from it.