Beminet Adane, 27, lives in Melka Adama Woreda in Ethiopia’s Oromia Region with his mother, Tenaye Lema, who is retired. Life for Beminet has been an uphill battle. Having completed his bachelor’s degree in environmental science in 2017, Beminet began looking for a job, but was unable to find paid employment. Beminet did not know what to do and he and his mother found it difficult to manage the household expenses without any income. In 2019, with the little money that he had, Beminet started a poultry business with 50 pullets (young hens) at his own small compound. It was his and his mother’s sole source of income.
In 2020, Beminet was engaged through the USAID-funded Feed the Future Ethiopian Value Chain Activity (VCA) where, through the project’s technology fund, he received essential materials – 5 quintals of cement, 17 egg trays, 3 feeders, and other supplies – for his poultry business. The technical assistance allowed Beminet and his mother to expand their poultry business from 50 chickens to 350 egg-laying hens.
According to Beminet, “Before the material support from VCA, I was handicapped to cover my transportation and other simple costs, but thanks to the VCA project, I am able to generate a good income to support my mother and myself. If there had not been support from VCA, I would have financial problems and searching for wage employment is hard.”
Beminet also attended various capacity building trainings led by VCA’s gender and youth team on topics related to gender equality and positive youth development, poultry business management, and leadership. The objectives of the trainings were to equip youth and women with essential skills, confidence, and experiences that empowers them in many aspects. The trainings aimed to create awareness of communication, leadership, and creating better working environments between youth and adult cooperative leaders. Beminet stated, “Now the stress is over, and my poultry business has improved a lot following the various capacity building trainings and material support from VCA.”
Beminet reports that he now sells 300 eggs a day to supermarkets and hotels in Adama town and life for him is back to normal once again. He shared,
“Thanks to the VCA project, my mother and I are happy and can generate good income. Most of the time, I attend various trainings and cascade it to my mother so that she now becomes an expert in the poultry business management too and she supports me a lot. The project has filled me with hope to grow and expand my poultry business in the future.”
Since 2021, VCA’s gender and youth team has provided gender equality and positive youth development training for 99 cooperative and Common Interest Group leaders, including youth, and 20 government partners in Ethiopia. Leadership and assertiveness training has also been conducted with 35 youth technology fund recipients. The multi-dimensional support VCA provides not only enhances the lives of Ethiopian farmers, but also ensures sustainability of local agricultural production that enables youth to reach their full potential.