“Previously I used to fetch water from the river after travelling about four hours. Then I would spend the rest of the day watering my farm using buckets to produce tomatoes, cabbage and maize” Shinta remembers. “Now to water my farm, I am only required to start up the motor and run through the lines of my farm which won’t take me more than an hour unlike the old times where I used to spend the whole day.”
“Since I became a member of the HIT group (Household Irrigation Technology) I have started to use motorized water to irrigate my farm and I am now producing beans, which will only require 70 days of hard work on the farm. So far I have harvested 35 quintals of beans of which I sold 15 quintals for the farmers union for 10,000 birr”. This amount is the equivalent to 500 USD.
“Our land is our work place and our produces are our salaries”, says Shinta. This is the only way we know how to change our lives. Our parents did not send us to school. I am sending all my children to school to make them educated, so that even if they decide to get married, at least they would be educated. All of the women in our HIT group attend classes three times a day and now I can, at least, write my name.
Shinta got married when she was 13 years old in an arranged marriage to a man old enough to be her father. Her husband died when all their children were still young. Shinta Elalo, now 45, became a widow 10 years ago and raised all of her 10 children (8 girls) by herself.
Oxfam’s HIT project in Oromia region, Ethiopia, is supporting more women like Shinta by promoting the use of technology to help them produce more and increase their income. For example, one motor like the one that Shinta is using serves 12 people. Each day 3 people will use the motor to irrigate their fields, hence on a rotational basis in just 4 days it will serve all the 12 members. As part of the project, an integrated functional adult literacy course is also provided to help them receive basic skills on how to read and write.
Photo: Tigist Gebru/Oxfam
Visit this link to learn more about women’s economic empowerement in agriculture: http://growsellthrive.org/
Women farmers in Africa produce their food and, often ours, under difficult circumstances. Join Oxfam’s campaign and help raise their voices: https://act.oxfam.org/international/women-food-climate