We believe that working with professional farmer cooperatives is an investment in a stable, prosperous agri-sector, in the economy and in wider society. Ambitious organised farmers across the world want to develop, become entrepreneurs and business partners, add value and move up the supply chain. This has a positive impact on economic growth, poverty alleviation, inclusiveness, food and nutrition security, and climate resilience and mitigation.
We interviewed 9 ambitious farmers from Tanzania (5), Kenya (2) and Ethiopia (2) to find out if their situations have changed since becoming members of a cooperative. Each week, you can read an interview.
Husen Adem Waqo is 40 years and lives in Edo Berso, a village in Ethiopia. He became a member of the cooperative to access a better market for his produce, such as coffee, maize, sorghum, and khat. Additionally, he is interested in obtaining quality animal feed at a fair and affordable price.
He says: "Prior to joining the cooperative as a farmer, I encountered market issues with my produce. For instance, the buyers had complete control over determining the prices, and we did not have access to competent buyers. The quality of feed available in the market was of poor quality and expensive, resulting in limited contribution to fattening. Additionally, accessing agricultural inputs such as improved seeds and fertilizers posed a challenge."
“I am happy to a member of this cooperative”, Husen smiles. "Thanks to Chercher Oda Bultum Farmers' Cooperative Union, I am now able to sell my coffee in the international market. With the union's investment in a coffee hulling machine, we no longer face market issues. I sell my produce to the cooperative at market price and receive dividends at the end of the year after auditing. Currently, the union has established an animal feed processing plant, and I am benefiting from this project. I can access agricultural inputs such as improved seeds and fertilizers without any problem."
Husen explains: “To share with you the recent benefit I received from the animal feed processing plant, I purchased two bulls for fattening at a price of 26,000 ETB and sold them for 100,000 ETB after fattening. Similarly, I purchased another bull for 40,000 ETB and sold it for 110,000 ETB after fattening. By utilizing products from our union's animal feed processing plant, the fattening period has been reduced from one year to 85 days. Previously, before the establishment of the factory, I had to wait for a year to fatten a bull, but now it only takes three months. Additionally, prior to the factory's establishment, I could only fatten one bull, but now I can manage at least four bulls per year with the same resources.”
By sharing his experiences ten farmers have started fattening activity in his village. Husen is interested in expanding his bull fattening business and starting milk production. He has already sold fattened bulls.
Another farmer, Alemayehu Million who lives in the same village, is also involved in bull fattening. He is feeding his bulls with products from the Chercher Animal Feed Processing Plant. Alemayehu only has two weeks left to sell his bulls. He was able to fatten them in three months. The quality of the concentrated feed supplied by the union is very good and offered at an affordable price. Alemayehu says: “I purchased two of the bulls shown in the picture for 140,000 ETB and plan to sell them for 500,000 ETB. I have already received 400,000 ETB from the market. I am planning to sell them in two weeks' time.”
Read also the stories of other farmers: