Embracing Climate-Smart Farming in Ethiopia

Digital Green has been working to improve farming advice through videos, focusing on climate-smart agriculture (CSA) in Gumer woreda, Ethiopia. This project aims to educate farmers about climate change and how to adapt their farming practices to mitigate its effects.

We produced two videos demonstrating climate-smart practices, such as making vermicompost and using cow urine as fertilizer. These videos have reached many farmers and significantly increased awareness about climate change and how to combat it in farming.

Ashiket Siraj, a farmer from Abeke Kebele, is a great example of the impact of this project. Before watching the videos, she knew little about climate change or the benefits of using compost. The training changed that. She said, “The videos opened my eyes to the effects of climate change and showed me practical steps I could take on my own farm.”

Inspired by what she learned, Ashiket decided to start making her own vermicompost. Even though the demand for worms has driven up prices, she invested 3 kg of worms for 2100 ETB to get started. She carefully followed the instructions from the videos, setting up a composting area and mixing the right materials.

Ashiket used to put cow manure directly on her fields, not realizing it could contribute to climate change. Now, she includes it in her compost, reducing harmful emissions: “I’m doing my part to fight climate change with my composting,” she said. Her efforts are improving her soil and increasing her farm’s productivity. She’s excited about the organic food she’s growing for her family and the potential to sell excess vermicompost and worms for extra income. “I plan to expand my composting,” she shared, “It’s good for my farm, my family, and the planet.”

Ashiket’s commitment to climate-smart practices has also inspired others in her community. As more farmers see the benefits of her approach, they’re starting to adopt similar methods. This collective shift towards sustainable farming is helping the entire community become more resilient against the challenges posed by climate change. It’s a powerful example of how knowledge sharing can lead to widespread change, with farmers supporting each other in adopting practices that benefit both the environment and their livelihoods.

The success of the CSA project in Gumer woreda, highlighted by stories like Ashiket’s, underscores the potential of video-based learning in transforming agriculture. Digital Green’s initiative is not just about introducing new farming techniques; it’s about empowering farmers with the knowledge and tools they need to make informed decisions. This approach is paving the way for a more sustainable and productive future for farmers in Ethiopia and beyond, showcasing the tangible impacts of integrating technology with traditional farming wisdom.