Project Mercy, Inc. is a nonprofit organization located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The organization was founded in 1977 by Marta Gabre-Tsadick and Deme Tekle-Wold. Over the past 18 years, Project Mercy’s mission has been expanded to include community development and self-help programs.
Project Mercy was started to provide emergency relief and relocation assistance to Ethiopian refugees. Project Mercy provides social services, including emergency feeding, job training, health care, including HIV/AIDS education, irrigation systems, agricultural development, orphan support, and education. Project Mercy not only responds to crises, but also focuses on self-sufficiency, sustainability and measurable impact.
The organization has invested in a Dairy Cattle Breeding Program, which hopes to dramatically increase the milk production through successful crossbreeding. The goal of the program is improve the livelihood of smallholder farmers through distributing crossbreed heifers. The first cross-bred heifer was born in August 2009. The number of new calves born under the program continues to grow. To date, there are 45 first cross-bred calves. Barns have been constructed on the 142 hectares site in ChaCha, and new equipment is in place to plant and assist with crop management.
Purpose of Grant
Project Mercy plans to use the grant fund to expand its cattle breeding operation and distributing crossbred cows to smallholder farmers in the area. In partnership with LMD, Project Mercy will expand its engagement in activities that enhance growth and reduce poverty in Ethiopia. This will be achieved in Chacha by providing smallholders access to crossbreed cows. The grant support will help Project Mercy to crossbreed Ethiopian indigenous cattle with the Jersey breed to achieve increased milk production from cows that can be sustained on Ethiopian farms. The crossbreed heifers will be distributed to farmers. Project Mercy will also supply feed and provide training on farm management. Ultimately, adequate milk production will help improve children’s health and provide a means of enhanced income for area families. The grant to be secured from LMD will be used to purchase inputs as well as farming and irrigation equipment that are critical in the overall activities success. With the grant support, Project Mercy plans to distribute crossbred 6 month pregnant heifers to a total of 80 households. The total investment cost of the project is anticipated to be $890,965 of which 11% will be covered by LMD, while the remaining 89% will be covered by Project Mercy.
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Site: AllAfrica News: Ethiopia