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Female farmers fighting climate change

Photo: Farm Africa / Nichole Sobecki Photo: Farm Africa / Nichole Sobecki

The problem

Ethiopian farmers rely on rainfall to make a living and are adversely affected by extreme weather events and changing weather patterns. Female farmers’ low access to education, credit and technology makes them more exposed to the negative impacts of climate extremes.

Small changes to traditional farming practices can lessen the impact of climate shocks on farmers’ yields, allowing them to adapt to a changing climate and reduce agriculture’s environmental impact.

What are we doing?

Farm Africa is working with the Union of Ethiopian Women Charitable Associations (UEWCA) to help people living across Ethiopia adapt to and mitigate against climate change.

Building awareness
This project will raise 450,000 people’s awareness of climate change by:

  • Running local media campaigns that inspire women to become champions for climate action.
  • Holding workshops and inter-community conversations about climate change mitigation and adaptation.
  • Setting up 120 village-level women’s discussion groups that explore issues such as environmental protection, climate change, sanitation and access to finance.

Adapt to a changing climate
Climate-smart agriculture training sessions allow farmers to intensify crop production and improve yields, while enhancing and protecting natural resources.

This project will help farmers generate income from a diverse range of activities so they can stabilise their incomes during weather extremes. We will:

  • Work with government agencies to improve smallholders’ access to drought-tolerant seed.
  • Help farmers adopt productive and sustainable farming practices like row planting and mulching.
  • Provide farmers with access to a range of small-scale irrigation and water harvesting technologies.
  • Introduce drought-tolerant grasses that supply farmers with animal feeds during dry spells.

Natural resource management
We will help communities protect the environment by:

  • Bringing farmers and governments together to develop sustainable forest, watershed and rangeland landscape management plans.
  • Planting trees and managing soils to capture carbon dioxide and create thriving ecosystems.
  • Promoting environmentally friendly technologies such as fuel-efficient stoves, biogas and solar energy systems.
  • Setting up land use systems and promoting conservation techniques, such as temporarily closing degraded grasslands, which allow farmers to turn degraded lands into fertile land.

Economically empowering farmers
Sixty Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) will be established so that farmers can unite to save and make funds available in times of need and to invest in each other’s businesses. Farm Africa and UEWCA will train group members in financial literacy, record keeping and how to manage saving and loan schemes.

Who are we working with?

With funding from SIDA (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency), Farm Africa is working with UEWCA, an organisation that strives to improve the living standard of poor and marginalised women and girls through socio-economic empowerment. Farm Africa is partnering with the UEWCA through twelve sub-grantee civil society organisations.