Sodo II RDP is a rural development programme being implemented by Self Help Africa in Gurage district. Work commenced in 2007, and covers 22 woreda’s (districts) not covered by Sodo I, an earlier SHA development project (2000-2006).
Sodo is located in south-central Ethiopia and covers parts of the Gurage and Wolaita districts of Southern Nations and Nationalities Peoples Region (SNNPR). The area is 100km south of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, and has a population of approximately 97,000 people.
Subsistence agriculture is the main economic activity in Sodo region. Wheat (teff), barley and potato are amongst the crops produced by households, who make their living primarily from agricultural production.
The objective of Sodo II is to improve food security and productivity for 5,387 households in the area by the end of 2011.
The project aims to improve natural resource management in the locality, support measures to combat soil erosion and land degradation, improve management and use of available water, and assist households to establish on and off farm enterprise.
Sodo II has also sought to improve access to social services, including education, health care and water for 50,000 people in the area.
Sodo II is working to directly increase farm household food and cash crop production for more than 5,300 households in the area.
The project aims improve local access to seed and inputs, to provide farmer training, to promote new crop varieties, to support the conservation of natural resources and the rehabilitation of depleted soil, and to support rain harvesting technologies to enable farm households to produce horticultural crops under irrigation.
Support is being provided for households, and particularly women, to participate in savings and credit co-operatives, to enable them to establish both on and off-farm income generating activities, while assistance is being provided so that the wider community has better access to basic services, including water, education and health-care.
|The production of drought resistent crops such as enset, of valuable cash crops like coffee, and support for savings and credit co-operatives - to enable women to begin income generating activities, are amongst a range of other activities being carried out by the project, which will invest upwards of €1 million in the programme over its five years time frame. |
Additional funding and in-kind support valued at nearly €800,000 will be invested in the Sodo II project by the local Ministry and communities in the area, over the same period.
Surveys carried out prior to the project found that only 10% of households in the area being covered by the Sodo II project produce adequate food to meet their needs for the entire year.
The intervention strategy in Sodo II focuses on local resources and indigenous know-how, promotion of innovative ideas and practices. Drip irrigation systems have been introduced to optimise the use of water for farm production, fuel efficient cooking stoves are being produced, and increasing access to water is a key priority.
The overall objective of the of the project is to: increase crop and livestock production and productivity through diversification and intensification, rehabilitate and conserve natural resources, and improve access to basic social services in a sustainable manner.