Although Ethiopia has made significant strides in reducing poverty in recent years, around 30 per cent of its population still survives on less than USD$1.25 per day.
For people with a disability, exclusion from the agricultural sector is a major barrier to overcoming poverty. However, one farmer is showing that there are no limits where there is a little opportunity and a lot of determination.
An inner spark
Ten years ago, Angunsh was a subsistence farmer trying to grow enough food for his family to eat. He has three children but also looks after his mother, sister, wife, and other members of his extended family as well. Remarkably, he manages to do so with no arms.
Angunsh lost his arms in a landmine accident. However, he was determined not just to survive, but to thrive and encourage others to do the same. He has strong faith and believes there must be a reason for what happened to him.
The local government recognised Angunsh’s spark and selected him as a model farmer in our potato project.
This project helps farmers access quality seed, teaches new agronomic skills, and connects farmers with local markets. In doing so, it helps families reduce hunger and malnutrition while improving long-term income.
Turning opportunity into success
Angunsh now works as a seed producer, providing high-quality seed for local potato farmers – previously a major barrier to their production. Since he joined the project four years ago, he has almost doubled his income.
“Before the project, I did not have the scientific knowledge that I now have,” said Angunsh. “I used to harvest and take all my potatoes to the market, and my family would not have enough to eat.
“But now I have learnt to keep for consumption, for seed, and sell the surplus to the market. I have managed to change my bed for a better one.”
With his potato profits, Angush bought a small truck to help him transport his crops and employed workers to help him in the fields.
He can’t keep up with local demand for seed and sells everything he produces. His future is much brighter now.
“There is not discrimination because I have a disability, people treat me the same,” Angunsh said. “Working is the best solution to defeat poverty.”
Donate now to help farmers like Angunsh break the poverty cycle.
Sustainable Development Goals
This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).