Shikurte Abderkader (34), is a smallholder farmer of Sankura woreda, Ethiopia. She grows bell pepper, potato, and wheat through irrigation for income generation and household consumption.

Previously, this was not possible. The communal water distribution system that she lied on for irrigation was unfair. Farmers like Shikurte would go for days without water. This limited their capacity cultivate their land all year round.

Unfair water distribution often resulted in conflicts among farmers.

Vita, through The Enhancing Job Opportunities and Employability for Youth and Women (EnJOY) project has changed this. Water distribution boxes have been created from a river irrigation system to ensure each farmer has a fair share of water.

The distribution boxes managed by a committee, have enabled farmers like Shikurte to improve their incomes, household nutrition and prevent conflicts among farmers.

The project has improved household income and employment opportunities for young  people in the area  as well due to increased land productivity and cultivation of different crops.

 “Thanks to the project, I harvested 30 quintals of potato from 0.125 ha of land worth 1,254.00 Euro. Before the irrigation system was installed, I only managed to harvest seven quintals . As you see, there is a huge difference because of water availability. The harvest will be split in three ways. We will consume some, sell the other and keep the rest as seed for the next season”, she said.

In addition to the irrigation system, farmers in Sankuru received training in improved agronomics practices, four quintal of improved potato seed and technical follow up from the project and local agricultural extension officers.

Shikurte has also been trained as a foundation potato seed multiplier. Farmer like her are important as they ensure availability and access to improved potato seed for others in the area.

The project has enabled farmers in the cultivate a combined total of 135 hectares of Wheat, potatoes, bell papers, cabbage, beetroots,  and carrots among many other local crops