On January 29th, 2014 Nigerian singer-song writer D’banj and the ONE Campaign team conducted a site visit with two large farmers’ cooperative unions, chickpea producing small holder farmers and with the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange. The first visit with the Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (OCFCU) included a presentation by the cooperative’s general manager, Tadesse Meskela followed by a tour of the warehouse and processing facilities and grounds. Thereafter, the group departed for Tulu Bolo town located in the Debub Mirab Shewa Zone of the Oromia Region where they visited with the Becho Weliso Farmers Cooperative. Visitors were greeted by traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony and a presentation on the activity of the cooperative by its general manager, Dejene Hirpa. The visit at Becho Weliso also included a tour of their polypropylene bag factory and a drive out into the field to meet with local chickpea farmers and a discussion with them on their success and challenges. The site visit organized by AGP-AMDe for the ONE Campaign concluded with a visit to the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) in Addis Ababa, to learn of the history and operation of ECD and visit the trading floor.
The ONE Campaign’s visit to Addis Ababa coincided with the 22nd African Union Summit and launch of the AU Year of Agriculture where ONE unveiled a campaign calling on African governments to commit 10% of national budgets towards agriculture investment. The “Do Agric, It Pays” campaign is ONE International’s effort to encourage Africa’s political leaders to adopt better policies towards increased productivity and income for millions of Africans in poverty. Championing the Do Agric, It Pays campaign and present for the launch in Addis Ababa was Nigerian singer-songwriter D’banj.
Document: Read ONE’s Ripe for Change report.
Sign the ONE petition here asking African leaders to invest in agriculture and support smallholder farmers.