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Overcoming a Mother's Dilemma

How a simple bag made all the difference

Asnakech Gaushe faced a dilemma.

Using conservation agriculture practices, she was now able to grow more than enough food for herself and 7 children—1,200kg of maize, 60kg of lablab (a type of bean), and over 200 heads of pumpkin. It was more food than they have ever seen in their entire lives!

Initially, Asnakech had great joy, but joy soon turned to concern. It would be impossible for her family to eat all of this before the crops went rotten. She could sell the crops, but since it was harvest, everyone in the village was doing the same – dropping prices to rock bottom. She knew if she sold now, they wouldn’t have enough money to last until next year’s harvest.

Just that week, Asnakech attended her savings group, Lemlem, like she did every week. Through the group she saved 20 cents per week and had taken out a loan from the group to expand her land. But this week was different.

Through conservation agriculture and PICS bags, Asnakech and her children have more than enough to eat year round!
Farmers hold their newly acquired PICS bags.
Look at those corn stalks! Because of donors like you, Asnakech is now growing the healthiest crops around.
Asnakech's savings group weighing their stuffed PICS bags.

A trainer was there from Tearfund’s local church partner, and he was holding up a huge 3-layer plastic and woven PICS bag.

“This,” he said, “Will help preserve your crops for months and protect it from mold and pests.”

Asnakech decided to try them out—after all, what did she have to lose? She acquired a few of the bags to store her maize and pigeon peas. A few months later, she was blown back by the results!

PICS bags are an innovative new technology that protects crops from pests, mold, and spoilage. With your help, Tearfund introduced 25,000 of these bags to thousands of farmers in Ethiopia. Using the bags, Asnakech was able to preserve 200kg of maize and 150kg of pigeon peas, and sell them for much more than before.

“The PICS Bags are a game changer!” she told us. “My family now has food year round, and they have given us an income during the lean months.”

Because of generous supporters like you, Asnakech and her family no longer go hungry and are climbing out of extreme poverty.

Asnakech showing off her stored crop!

You can impact a family’s life by bringing an end to poverty

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