Mother-of-four Metike Abebe has watched her community in Meki Batu, Ethiopia, transform over the past two decades.
After her husband passed away 14 years ago, Metike become a member of the Meki Batu farmer’s union, an initiative set up by Self Help Africa. Through the union, she received training and credit to purchase important agricultural inputs such as fertiliser and pesticide.
With this support Metike’s farm has gone from strength to strength with much improved crop yields. Now at the age of 74, Metike currently grows cereals on her main 3 hectare site with another half hectare given to the cultivation of vegetables like onions and peppers.
Her success has had a broader effect too. She hires as many as nine farm hands from her community to help run her farm.
“The standard of living for the community in this area has already changed and employment has been created on farms for those who do not own land,” she says.
The income that farmers like Metike provide to others in their community means that more local children are now going to school.
Meki Batu farmers union also helps Metike to access new markets, so that she can get a better price for her produce. She plans to invest the profits back into her community by opening a grocery store for locals.
Metike is very proud of the role she plays within her community. “I’m delighted at the age of 74 to have this farm and these employees,” she says.