From unemployment to business ownership


In December 2019 the Misrak Agro dealers’ group was organized under the IMPACT project in the Amhara Region’s Bure Zuria district. Starting with three members, the group has grown to five (three women) members with the goal of promoting improved post-harvest technologies and creating jobs for the youth, whose educational background ranges from 10th grade to BSc degree.

Bure Zuria district is an area with high potential for maize production, however limited access to post-harvest technologies. Farmers in the district used to shell their maize manually and hire tedious and time-consuming labor that resulted in post-harvest losses and lower grain quality. As part of its post-harvest technology promotion, SAA under the IMPACT project provided a maize sheller with a cart to the group. 

The group began a maize shelling service provision for 85 farmers in the surrounding communities, shelling about 232.7 MT of maize in one kebele, earning USD1,466. The youth group earned a gross profit of USD1,140 in one season alone, which is about 47% of the cost of the machine. 

As shelling service is a seasonal activity, Misrak agro-dealers expanded their income by engaging in agro-dealership, through a seed money facilitated by the IMPACT project. Meeting Trade Bureau requirements, the group established an agro-inputs shop and began supplying a variety of agrochemicals.

In 2021, the group earned nearly USD2,000 as gross profit from a one-season shelling service and one month’s sales of agrochemicals. Aside from the profit, they demonstrated maize shelling technology to 390 farmers to raise awareness on the benefit of improved technologies. 

Encouraged by the income from the two businesses and the satisfaction derived from the services that support communities, the group is looking into more diverse economic opportunities, such as woodwork and crop production by renting farmland. They are also saving their earnings for larger goals of high-value service provision, such as purchasing tractors for plowing and loading, and other large-scale investment activities. “Mark our words, we will become major investors in the near future,” the group declared.

Retrieved from SAA E-Newsletter, issued in March 2023 with Focus on MARKET-ORIENTED-AGRICULTURE (MOA)

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