At a launching workshop held in Awassa, program manager Dr. Beyene Kebede disclosed that the program will be implemented in seven drought-prone and chronically food insecure weredas of Kembatta/Timbaro, Silitie and Gurage zones. The program is expected to benefit more than 71,000 rural house holds, which are already targeted by the productive safety net program (PSNP).
Meanwhile, the program manager stated the uniqueness of the program is its support to the chronically food insecure households, so that they can improve their economic base and enhance resiliency from cash and food aid.
As a result, the program will cover activities like spring development, hand dug well construction to improve community water access, and provide training for the livelihood activities to be conducted by the program. Further, the program also has activities that will help develop the saving culture of the beneficiaries, making them eligible for the local micro finance, by organizing them into an association.
According to Dr. Beyene, the organization also has program activities to enhance agricultural productivity through introducing improved agricultural technologies and non rain fed agriculture, like bee-keeping, poultry production, sericulture (silk technology) and the like. Under these activities, improved crop seeds, tubers, horticultural and fruit tree seeds or seedlings will be promoted to the targeted beneficiaries, added Dr. Beyene.
Besides, the program will cover also other livelihood diversification activities that could help farmers to resist shocks during drought, by protecting and building household assets using non-agricultural small handicrafts, and other small-scale businesses.
In addition, the program will assist farmers in providing market information and assisting government offices and the local partner local organization through capacity building.
More than 40 participants from the regional food security office, finance and economic development bureau, agricultural and natural resource development bureau and participants with different capacities from the zonal and wereda level attended the workshop.