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Potatoes – A source of food security in Ethiopia

Potatoes – A source of food security in Ethiopia

 

Potatoes – A source of food security in Ethiopia

Aberesh Tomuko is from South Ethiopia and is a single mother of five.

Aberesh has benefitted from Vita’s programme on potato production in Ethiopia. Vita works closely with Irish and international agricultural researchers to bring cutting-edge science into the fields of farmers in developing countries. In Ethiopia, their programme is focused on improving potato production.

Aberesh is on the management team of her local seed producers’ co-operative. She has attended six field schools to learn about disease control, soil sanitation, pesticides and fertilisers. Clean, certified seed is the key to improving the potato system in Ethiopia. It also increases food and income security of rural households and builds resilience against disease and contamination. In Aberesh’s area, Doko Yoyery, Gamo Gofa Zone, potato yields have increased threefold through the use of disease-free, improved seed.

As part of the programme, Aberesh built a potato storage unit. This allows her to keep her potatoes for longer, either to feed her family or to sell later, when scarcity leads to higher prices in the market.

“Switching to the new potato has been very good for me and my family - already I am earning three times more than I used to earn. This year I had to build a second storage unit.” 

Irish Aid funds Vita so that they can continue to help families like Aberesh’s to sustain their potato production through innovative technologies and processes. When times are hard, Aberesh knows she has a reliable source of food.

Through this work, Vita aims to bring food security to smallholder farmers across Ethiopia, leading to higher incomes and better nutrition. This work lays the foundation for tackling poverty and improving living standards for millions.

 

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