Achieving food security via cassava

The project, led by CPAR (Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief), strengthened the food security of 420 farming households, in the Dibate district, by favouring the participation of women, a vulnerable population in the region. The project created seven Farmer Field Schools (FFS).

Denbesie is 45 years old. She lives in Komed village of Girz kebele, Dibate woreda. She is a mother of five children: 3 sons and 2 daughters. Denbesie has been growing sorghum, finger millet, and maize to provide food for her family for years, but it has never been enough to support the whole family. Since her husband died, she has born all responsibility for putting food on the table.

"Before the project, I had to work on the farms of others farmers for food and money to support my family. In 2014, the prospects for my life started to take a different form. First, I started with joining Komed Vegetable FFS group and received training and seeds to start vegetables production." She grew vegetables, papaya, and cassava on her garden and managed them well.

"Vegetables are quick to respond. In three months' time, I managed to harvest the produce and my family had food to eat for two consecutive months", said Denbesie with smile on her face.

Her cassava and papaya were also fast to ripen. In a year's time, she got her first harvest. She refers to cassava as a miracle crop in helping to achieve food security. She shared cassava cuttings with six fellow farmers who showed interest in trying the crop out.