Almaz Tadsaa stands in her one and half hectare field of malt barley in the Oromia region of Ethiopia…Demand for the crop has been growing locally, including from a malting factory which is not too far away, further down the valley.
With funding from Irish Aid, Self Help Africa is working on a malt barley value chain development project in conjunction with the Galema Farmers Cooperative Union. From its formation in 2000, the union has expanded rapidly to cover nearly 40,000 farmers represented by 23 primary coops, all affiliated to the union.
Almaz is the main breadwinner in her household. Her husband is a former soldier, now classified as disabled due to a leg injury. As the mother of 4 children, ranging in ages from 27 down to 15, she knows only too well the responsibility of providing for her dependents. But she is a formidable worker whose success to date (from the family’s other 5 hectares) has already helped to fund a new house, complete with corrugated roof.
Almaz planted her malt barley crop in mid June and hopes, in December, to get a yield of around 30 quintals per hectare. With a total yield of up to 45 quintals ( four and a half tonnes) and a guide price of 735 Birr per quintal, Almaz could be looking at a gross return of close to 33,000 Birr ( 1,330 Euro/£1,110). Hardly surprising then that Almaz’s ambition is to get more land for future years.