AVACLIM: Review of activities in Ethiopia

AVACLIM: Review of activities in Ethiopia


ISD is an Ethiopian NGO that provides training, tools and support for small-scale farmers, including young people, to adopt sustainable sources of income based on the principles of agroecology for the sustainable management of natural resources. It also advocates agroecology in Ethiopia in order to maintain the adoption and extension of this approach throughout the country. 

PELUM Ethiopia also contributed to the evaluation of agroecological initiatives. 

Characterization of agroecological initiatives in Ethiopia 

During the first year of the project, the identification and characterization of agroecological initiatives led to the production of a total of 5 initiative sheets. These sheets present the background, context and development trajectory of the initiatives, as well as the main lessons learned with regard to the FAO’s ten elements of agroecology. The Ethiopian initiative sheets have been translated into Amharic and Oromiffa (local languages), in order to facilitate their appropriation by local populations and professionals. 

Following are the factsheets presenting the Ethiopian initiatives:

Evaluations of agroecological initiatives 

The Ethiopian partners had to cope with security problems in several parts of the country, caused by a political crisis. This had a major impact on the organization of project activities, as some of the initiatives identified and evaluated were located in high-risk areas, preventing the ISD team from visiting the site. 

We were nevertheless able to evaluate two initiatives, although some data could not be collected for one of them. The two initiatives evaluated were 

  • Vermicomposting in Maruf: This initiative was born in 2013 when vermicomposting was initiated in the village of Maruf (West Shewa Zone, Oromia Region), with the support of the Office of Agriculture and national research institutes, to alleviate the region’s fertility problems. In addition to the provision of inputs and equipment (earthworms, lime, etc.), the village farmers received training in agro-ecological techniques, in order to sustain their practices and reduce their dependence on external inputs. Vermicomposting has since spread to other villages in the district. The initiative has grown to such an extent that a regional vermicomposting center has been set up in the town of Guder in 2019 to provide farmers with inputs and technical support. The town of Guder and the surrounding area are now known for their excellence in producing and promoting vermicomposting and vermiculture, as well as transferring the practice to other regions. Today, over 200 farmers from 12 villages in the Toke Kutaye district have adopted the practice of vermicomposting. 
  • Arbe Sustainable Integrated Farm: In this initiative, located in southern Ethiopia’s Awassa region, Arbe has begun to implement integrated practices, having benefited from capacity building and the provision of equipment, which has helped it to diversify its activity and introduce technical innovations. Arbe now practices a mixed crop-livestock system and, unlike its neighbors, uses a variety of crop rotations and combinations. In addition to beans, intercrops include cabbage, potatoes, pepper, taro and sweet potatoes. His farm includes a wide variety of food crops (12 varieties of enset, 5 beans, 3 bananas, 2 kale, etc.) and non-food crops, including arboriculture.  

Link to evaluation summary

Advocacy actions in favor of agroecology 

ISD has carried out a number of advocacy actions, highlighting both the lessons and results of the AVACLIM project, and those of other projects carried out to date. These included the following end-of-project flagship events: 

  • The organization of an advocacy workshop on the theme: “Perspectives on the experience of promoting organic agriculture and climate resilience among small-scale farmers in Ethiopia”, attended by 70 people. 
  • ISD’s participation in the Green Action Forum, where the ISD-AVACLIM position paper in favor of agroecology was presented. 
  • The organization of a national workshop in preparation for the Désertif’Actions summit, aimed at developing advocacy messages in favor of agroecology, ahead of the international summit; 

Find out more here: 

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