The project is a progression from the relief operation, undertaken by SIM in eight Kebeles highly affected by food shortages as a result of crop failure due to drought. Three studies were conducted to get an accurate picture of the project area in order to devise a comprehensive strategy for addressing the food insecurity problem of the community. The first study was conducted using Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) tools. It helped to identify the most vulnerable communities with their felt needs and practical strategies including irrigation development and capacity building training. The pre-feasibility study that was conducted prior to the (PRA) indicated that the water sources in Tufa and A.Sede Kebeles (where the food shortage problem is very serious and where crop failure is becoming a recurring phenomena), are feasible for irrigation development. The household survey gives an indication of the present condition of the community and can be used as a benchmark to measure the progress and performance of the project.
Project activities to be implemented holistically are as follows:
- Irrigation development on 100 hectares of land (50 in each Kebele) that will benefit 500 families (0.25 ha per family - the Oromia region standard).
- Promotion of cash crop production on the irrigated lands
- Provision of agriculture and natural resource management training
- Natural resource management to conserve the exsiting resource and rehabilitate denuded areas.
- Provision and demonstration of improved farm technologies to improve the water retention capacity of the soil, as formation of impervious hard clay pan is one of the problems observed in the area.
- Provision and demonstration of improved seed planting seeds that have multiple purposes (cover crop, forage and improve soil fertility) would be promoted.
- Promote off-farm income generation activities as land holdings are increasingly being reduced and alternative income sources are a means to reduce high dependency on land for agricultural income.
- Water and sanitation development to include spring development, promotion of household latrines and provision of sanitation education