Potato business provides a living for Endalsh Worke’s family

Ms Endalsh Worke is 29 years old and resides in Merawi town, Mecha North. Having dropped out of school in the 9th grade, she has since established and run her own potato business.

For the past 11 years, Endalsh has supplied potato seed to smallholder farmers in the area, and in turn, purchased their harvest to re-sell on the market. The success of this business has enabled her and her five family members to enjoy increased financial security and material prosperity.

Currently, Endalsh supplies 11,000 kg of potato seed to farmers in Koga area on a weekly basis during the planting season. She sources potato seed mainly from the highland areas of East Gojjam.

Recently, having attended a market linkage forum supported by AgroBIG, she signed a contract buying agreement with the Koga irrigation cooperative union to buy 20,000 qt of ware potato from Koga farmers, which she supplies to major markets.

During Phase I, AgroBIG supported Endalsh in many ways. As a member of the Merawi market center horticulture business group operators supported by the Programme, she received training on business management, record keeping, and customer handling. Endalsh attributes her business success mainly to the better-quality potato seed supplied to farmers and the trust she builds with her customers.

Despite her success, Endalsh faces capital constraints: “If I had access to credit at reasonable interest rate, I could benefit much more from my business”. During its second phase, AgroBIG will continue to support female entrepreneurs such as Endalsh by providing access to affordable finance via various financial instruments.