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In the Fafan area of the Somali region in Ethiopia, there are areas that, with the help of good agricultural practices and irrigation, present considerable potential for the production of vegetables, grains and fruits.
Despite this data, agro-pastoral communities face important challenges such as lack of experience in crop production, scarce and irregular rains, lack of technical support, lack of inputs (seeds, seedlings and access to tractors) and the difficulty of access to credit and an informal market system.
The Social Promotion Foundation agreement, executed together with the NGO Rescate and the local partners ECC-SADCOH and HAVOYOCO, with funding from AECID, has among its objectives to increase productivity and agricultural production in these communities.
To achieve this end, activities such as training in good agricultural practices adapted to the local context, the provision of seeds, forage seedlings and multifunctional trees, and the provision of tools to the identified rights holders are carried out.
One of the specific activities planned was the purchase and transfer of three tractors allowing access to them to the agricultural communities of the intervention area.
The identification and transfer of two of the three tractors was carried out last July to two cooperatives that carried out training activities among their members in agricultural practices and the operation, maintenance and use of the tractor; these are the Rajo cooperative in Tuluguleed and the Efftin Cooperative in North Jijiga.
The event was attended by members of the two selected cooperatives, inhabitants of local communities as well as local and regional authorities from the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resource Management. The three-day event was also attended by representatives of the communication office of the Somali regional government. The event was broadcast the following day in the region’s Somali media.
Access to tractors has several positive effects on selected agro-pastoral communities such as rapidly tilling the land with the first rains and subsequently removing weeds and increasing moisture and water retention in the soil.
Some of the benefits of using tractors are improved crops, increased productivity, optimization of tasks, and time and cost savings.
In addition, the availability of the tractor has allowed them to till a larger area of land and even provide services to other farmers through the rental of the tractor.
According to the data provided by the two cooperatives, more than 75 families have benefited this rainy season and more than 750 hectares have been cultivated by the two tractors provided.