Ms Delela Abebaw is a rural landholder from the village of Gergera, in Dera district. At 18 years of age, she is one of the youngest members of the local Selam Lelemat Saving and Credit Cooperative (SACCO) serving the village. In July 2018, Ms Delela was awarded 15,000 ETB from the AgroBIG Women and Youth Loan Fund – disbursed via the SACCO – to boost her maize and potato production business, and finance an additional sheep fattening venture.
Married, but without children, Ms Delela already had ample entrepreneurial experience from income-generating activities such as preparing and selling tea for villagers, providing donkey-cart services and cultivating maize and potato for processing and sale. However, these ventures never made enough profits to expand or reinvest in her business.
With the help of the AgroBIG loan, Ms. Delela purchased 11 sheep, improved maize and potato seed, and fertilizer to increase her yields. This has enabled her to has diversify and scale-up her business operations, improving the volume and quality of her production, and maximizing profits for reinvestment.
As she is engaged in AgroBIG value chain commodities, Ms Delela has also been selected to participate in on-farm potato demonstration trials in Dera district, established by the Programme this year. This will further advance her agronomic knowledge and provide valuable market linkage to potential buyers.
Ms Delela expects good returns on her total investment, allowing her to quickly repay the loan fully. With an eye on regional markets, she intends to apply for a second loan from the Programme to expand her business even further.