You are here: Home > What we do > Resources > Newsletters > Incense: Ethiopia's game-changer

Incense: Ethiopia's game-changer

Incense is made by harvesting resin from trees Incense is made by harvesting resin from trees
The average household in Ethiopia’s Benishangul-Gumuz region earns just £68 a year. Struggling to provide for their families, many farmers are forced to cut down trees to grow crops  and graze livestock. The forest is rapidly disappearing, so Farm Africa is working with local communities to create a sustainable solution.

Before Alfadel began producing incense, he relied on agriculture and gold mining to earn a living. But when his farming efforts failed, the situation started to get desperate. He was running out of options.

Farm Africa knows that incense production can give people like Alfadel the livelihood they need without having to damage their precious forest. In fact, it does the opposite.

One of the country’s biggest exports, incense gives the trees a value that farmers are keen to protect. It’s a game-changer: economically and environmentally.

Farm Africa taught Alfadel how to tap tree trunks and harvest incense without causing damage to the tree. We showed him the best way to dry and store his incense and we made sure he had the tools he needed. We even linked him to local buyers.

A testament to his new-found skills, Alfadel produced an impressive 200kg of incense in his first year of business. A year later he doubled his harvest and sold 400kg for ETB19,000 (£673)!

With his income secure, Alfadel’s children are now in school, and he is looking forward to sending them to college. The family is thriving, and so too can the forest they depend on.


Next year I will strive to double my production and earnings again! Now I am strong enough to feed, educate and provide support to my children. In the near future, I will be able to send my children to college so as to make my life full of happiness and comfort.


Let's keep on growing Let's keep on growing

With your support we can continue our life-changing work and give more communities across eastern Africa the chance to change their prospects for good.


Stay up to date with the latest news and projects