Permagardening improves nutrition and income for Ethiopian farmers
Since 2020, SAA has been promoting permagardening technologies in Ethiopia reaching a significant number of households, including 84 in Seboba Wesherbi, a village in the Raya Boda kebele of the Ana Sora woreda in Oromia region. The permagarden is a bio-intensive agriculture approach that combines components of organic production systems to maximize sustainable production practices on a small unit of land and that helps to increase biodiversity, thus creating a highly productive garden over time.
In 2021, SAA trained 28 (M=4, F=24) farmers in Seboba Wesherbi, demonstrating how permagardening conserves water and improves soil fertility, allowing for easy root growth and, ultimately, higher crop yields. Furthermore, the training introduced participants to new vegetables like Swiss chard, which has high biomass and can be harvested continuously.
Following the training, 51 households established permagardens in their backyards; the additional 23 being those that did not attend the workshop but learned from their trained neighbors. Out of 51 permagardens, 35 were well established, allowing their owners to save 4 -6 USD per week that would have, otherwise, been spent on vegetable purchases.
The new permagardens converted idle backyard plots into functional units that produce fresh and healthy vegetables, improving the household nutritional status in the region, and enabling farmers to generate additional income, with some households generating new revenue streams of up to USD100 over five months from vegetable sales.