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A Present-Day Miracle: Multiplying harvests like fish and loaves

Raising children as a widow and full-time farmer in a changing climate and conflict region is nearly impossible for Belaynesh Bassa, until she learns this one simple technique!
 

Imagine how much your life would change if your salary and food multiplied by four!

W/ro (meaning Mrs.) Belaynesh Bassa awakes daily to water and tend to her farm. After long hours of labour, she returns home and must care, feed and prepare her six children for the day. Bassa became widowed at forty and has cared for her six children alone ever since her husband’s passing. Raising six children is a struggle; raising them as a single mother and full-time farmer in a changing climate and conflict-burdened region is nearly impossible.

Bassa lives in a village in Boloso Bombe Woreda, Ethiopia, where peace and security are lacking. Furthermore, massive droughts have left Bassa and millions of others in the country hungry. For Bassa, caring for her children involves working longer hours in the field with decreasing yields as weather patterns change. After endless years of almost no harvests, Bassa was selected to be trained in Conservation Agriculture (CA). She gained knowledge and confidence in using cover crops and mulching materials for her land through no-tillage, minimum disturbance, crop rotation, and association principles. 

After returning from this training, she planted maize during the rainy season and saw a harvest of over 200kgs in the new CA farming plot — that’s 4 times as much as before! Bassa was in disbelief, “I have never seen such a harvest since my husband’s death.” Farming and harvesting have been difficult without her husband, but she knows she must push through.

Because of donors like you, the hard work of Bassa, and the local training staff, the yields continue to be positive. Remarkably, harvest is good even when drought is present. For years, Bassa and her family struggled in the depths of poverty. But since being trained in CA, she climbed up from poverty and can care for her children. Bassa is thankful for people like you who fund these projects, and she has decided that this gratitude means she must extend that help to others.

Bassa has also joined a village-level self-help group (SHG) established with initiation to integrate the CA approaches with other farmers. The SHG empowers women and reduces marginalization by offering group loans. These loans help women access agricultural supplies, social services, and start agribusinesses, which boost household income and improve food security.

Thank you immensely for your support. You have changed Bassa and her family’s lives through a present-day miracle, and allowed Tearfund and TDA to transform hundreds of families’ livelihoods, helping create a better future for these villages.

You can help give more farmers life changing training

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