Kebede Edecha, a father of 11 children, lives in Inchini Town within Adea Berga District. He is a hard-working man who aspires to see himself transformed. He leaves no stone unturned in working to change his family’s life. “I have been a farmer, a merchant of eucalyptus trees, and a daily labourer, but all to no avail. The only thing I profited was weariness”, he recalls.
Despite encountering several setbacks, Kebede did not give up on his efforts. He continued attempting other businesses that he thought could put him on the route to success. In the midst of his unfruitful trials, World Vision invited him to take part in a milk production training exercise.
He says, “The training on milk production, processing, artificial insemination and forage management caught all my heart and mind. The trainer underlined that the diary business is lucrative if we remain committed to the business. I had two indigenous cows at the time, but the cow's milk production was very little. I took the trainer’s words humbly and vowed to myself to sell the two cows I had, and buy improved milk cows in order to try the dairy farm business.”
At once, Kebede sold the two indigenous milk cows that he had and bought two improved milk cows that produce 12 litres a day each. Soon after, he began selling the milk to the market.
“The business was lucrative as told in the training", he testifies today. "I was selling the milk! Having seen my effort, World Vision provided me with milk processing materials to process the raw milk and benefit from the sale of the milk by-products including butter, cheese, yoghurt, and cream. It made my business more profitable.”
In four to five years' time, Kebede’s milk cow numbers increased to seven, and each produces 12 litres of milk per day. He collected about 3,780,000 Birr (over US$74,000) in the last five years from the sale of milk. Now. he has seven milk cows, four heifers, and three pairs of plowing oxen.
Through the revenue from the sale of milk, Kebede has diversified his source of income. He now farms vegetables and cereal crops, is engaged in cattle fattening business and transportation. He has also purchased a big truck, and constructed about four residence houses for rent.
“I have discovered a business that can transform my life for years. Thanks to World Vision’s dairy farming training, I got the key that enable me to succeed. It really u-turned my life into an unexpected success!”, he explains.
Although he's finally on the path to success, Kebede still freshly recalls the very tough conditions in which he raised his six sons and five daughters. “[In the past] I was only able to provide a maximum of two meals a day to my children, let alone being able to provide them with adequate writing materials and clothes. It was a hard time”, he says.
Today, he is able to send his children to a better school and provide for all their needs sufficiently. Some of them are employed at a government office and others self-employed while running their own business.
On plans for the future, Kebede reveals that he has now received farmland and an investment license in milk production from the Oromia Regional States and is due to expand dairy farming in a modern way.