Etagen Jemal is a young female farmer, 30 years of age, residing in the village of Keberta in the southwest region of Ethiopia. She is married and has a daughter and a son. Etagen is actively involved in forest coffee production.
In 2016, she became acquainted with the Cooperative Promotion Department, where an extension officer provided her with valuable information regarding the cooperative's significance and establishment. She learned about the economic and social benefits she could gain through cooperative membership. Subsequently, she joined the Keberta Female Coffee Producer's Cooperative as a member, and she now holds the position of chairperson. Additionally, she serves as the deputy chairperson at Bench Maji Forest Coffee Farmers Union.
“The increase in income has led to an improved lifestyle for my family.”
After establishing the primary cooperative with 194 small female farmers and employing 4 staff members a few years ago, they received a fair price for their coffee products through their primary cooperative and enjoyed a short distance between the coffee market and their union.
The cooperative was visited by various officials and regarded as a model for female farmer members and leaders. In the beginning of 2023, Etagen Jemal was awarded at national level as a model female farmer, and her primary cooperative was also recognized as a model cooperative with female members.
Etagen says: "Women have benefited from our organisation. I have seen an improvement in my annual income year after year, especially last year when I earned 300,000 ETB. The increase in income has led to an improved lifestyle for my family. With 194 individual members in our cooperative, approximately 1000 family members will have a similar experience."
She has a great ambition to engage in geoprocessing and value addition to transform agriculture into industrialisation and increase the income of members through change and development.