From growing and feeding communities to driving economies, agriculture is key to economic stability. Yet not all farms and agri-businesses have access to the tools they need to succeed. Agricultural work is tough – long hours, financial insecurity, and inconsistent weather are just a few of the many challenges that people in this line of work face. Entrepreneurs in these environments, despite their best effort, aren’t equipped to prosper.
There are limited opportunities in the country to grow quality rice. But MEDA’s EMERTA project works to improve this challenging environment by partnering with the Gunna Seed Multiplication & Marketing Cooperatives Union (Gunna Union). Gunna Union provides quality seeds for growers in Ethiopia’s Amhara Region. Managed by Gete Melese, the organization cleans, packages and markets improved crop seeds. The union is made up of eighteen seed grower cooperatives, supplying seeds to almost 2,500 members.
The union bought a rice seed cleaning machine, trained seed growers, and acquired the supplies needed to properly test, tag, and store their product. They also used funds from the grant to hire and train seven staff members.
Through this work, more growers gained access to quality rice seeds, and better marketing has raised awareness and increased demand for their product. As a result, this has created more opportunities for rice farmers and businesses to grow and sell their seeds in Ethiopia.
Gete, Gunna Union Manager
As Gete and the Gunna Union demonstrated, with the right supports, communities can access the tools, training, and resources they need to build strong and prosperous farms and businesses.
Your investment ensures hard-working entrepreneurs can prosper by helping MEDA partner with businesses, farmers, governments, and institutions to build strong market systems in the Global South. These systems are needed now more than ever as the world continues to grapple with food insecurity, plunging many in the Global South deeper into poverty. Strong systems mean greater prosperity for farmers and small business owners, and they are made possible through your generous support.