Maize stores in Ethiopia
Five new storage facilities for maize, built by local communities with 2SCALE support, were inaugurated in July. The warehouses, with a capacity of 500 to 700 tons, consist of a wooden framework which is then plastered and finished. They were built by members of the Sidama Elto farmer union and its constituent primary cooperatives. This was a partnership with processing firm GUTS Agro, which purchases maize and soya from 2SCALE farmer groups. 2SCALE and GUTS provided funding support; the farmers provided materials, land and labor.
Government technical experts, along with a number of other stakeholders, visited two stores in Tenkaka Langano (a mainly women’s cooperative) and Udona Gallo. The visitors included staff from the Federal Cooperative Agency, which oversees the development of farm cooperatives country-wide, and three zonal/district Cooperative Agencies – Sidama Zone, Hawasa Zuriya and Borecha district. Farmers are excited about the new warehouses and so are government agencies, which see prospects for rolling out this low-cost, community-led approach to a range of crops in different areas.