Nuru Agriculture Expands from 3 to 10 Areas in Southwest Ethiopia

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The 2015 planting season activities are in full swing for both Nuru Ethiopia and Nuru Kenya!

land prep

A farmer in Zefine Menuka, Ethiopia prepares his land in anticipation of the onset of the rainy season. This is one of seven new areas and ten total operational areas for the Nuru Ethiopia Agriculture Program in 2015. The program partners with communities in its approach to offer farm inputs on loan, technical training, extension services and market linkages through cooperatives.

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The Agriculture Team and cooperative leadership provide training on input loans outside the Nuru Ethiopia warehouse. Members eagerly await the opportunity to take a farm input loan for the production of maize, beans, wheat and teff (a staple grain used to make injera, a spongy flatbread, in Ethiopia).

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Inside the warehouse, Nigussie of the Nuru Ethiopia Agriculture Program trains and advises the cooperative storekeeper and leadership on the distribution of farm inputs such as maize seed, bean seed and fertilizers. The approach focuses on providing farmers access to quality farm inputs to improve their farm business for food security and income, while also establishing community owned agricultural cooperatives that operate profitable and sustainable input loan and grain marketing businesses. This dual approach ensures that farmers are successful, food secure and profitable, and that they are able to access productive loans and fair markets through a cooperative based in their own community.

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At the input distribution site, Nuru Ethiopia farmers queue to receive their seed and fertilizer input loans.

crop spacing

In Nuru Kenya’s work area of southwest Kenya, the season rains arrive over a month earlier than in southwest Ethiopia. The Nuru Kenya Agriculture staff is closely supervising planting. In the background, a new Nuru farmer followed technical trainings well, planting in weed-free rows with the correct spacing. In the foreground, a farmer not working with Nuru has planted maize without the correct spacing and poor weed control. Nuru tends to recruit early adopters and model farmers in the initial year in a new area. Other farmers observe the practical experience of these early adopters, and tend to follow suit after seeing the success realized with good agricultural practices.

About Matt Lineal

Agriculture Program Strategic Advisor — With multi-disciplinary training in social, economic and environmental sciences, Matt is working to increase crop yields, food security and income for Nuru's smallholder farmers. Previously, Matt worked with The Nature Conservancy and Peace Corps in Honduras; and earned his BA in Government and Spanish from Lawrence University and his MS in Forest Sciences from Colorado State University.

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