Angunsh overcomes poverty and disability
Although Ethiopia has made significant strides in reducing poverty in recent years, around 24 per cent of its population still survives on less than USD$1.25 per day, according to the World Bank.
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.
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. 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. The local government recognised Angunsh’s ambition and charisma, 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.
Opportunity becomes 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.”
Breaking the cycle of poverty and disability
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.
“There is not discrimination because I have a disability, people treat me the same,” Angunsh said. “Working is the best solution to defeat poverty.”
This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).
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There is not discrimination because I have a disability, people treat me the same. Working is the best solution to defeat poverty.
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