PC Mulugeta Ayene/ WLE

Land restoration bringing food security to Ethiopia: Afro FM, Xinhua

Rapid population increase, low vegetation cover, soil loss and erosion - all contributing to the growing issue of land degradation and food insecurity in Ethiopia. But innovative interventions from the Africa RISING program are working to redress this degradation.

“I get to feed myself and my family with fresh produce from the land all thanks to the solar irrigation system," Bekelechi Belachew ,  a smallholder farmer near Hosana, Southern Ethiopia told Afro FM. "Food security is the main benefit I get from this. Whatever is left over, I sell at the market gaining some income - that's another benefit. My land is very productive and rich with nutrients because I apply the farming methods recommended by Africa RISING."

Smallholder farmers are applying such innovative methods to restore land, adopt solar irrigation and apply other innovative, sustainable agricultural solutions, informed by CIAT, IWMI, CCAFS and WLE research. And data from these fields actually fed into the development of business models to help Ethiopians better acceess solar technology. 

Click and listen to learn more on how land restoration is bringing food security to Ethiopia.  And read the web story on Afro FM.

Xinhua also reported that: "after years of struggle and social neglect, Bekelechi is now considered as a role model among members of her community, with unrelenting praise flooding from family relatives, local government officials as well as experts in the agriculture sector."

"I have been committed in my engagements towards achieving the most out of this small ranch," said Bekelechi, as she led a team of agricultural experts and journalists for a tour in her farm located just back of her house." Despite my efforts, this couldn't be achieved if I hadn't received the trainings and other forms of support from Africa RISING."

These independent news stories were supported as part of a recent ThriveNet journalist story lab led by the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) with partners CIAT and IWMI.

Afro FM and other journalists interview smallholder farmer as part of ThriveNet story lab on restoring degraded landscapes.

<p>Afro FM and other journalists interview smallholder farmer as part of ThriveNet story lab on restoring degraded landscapes.</p>

PC Adam Hunt/ WLE

The event aimed to boost local media's understand of Ethiopia's food future and hosted journalists at USAID-supported Africa RISING sites near Hosana, Ethiopia. Journalists, scientists and farmers shared how restoration efforts are resulting in on-the-ground benefits to smallholder farmers and future generations.