she raised in a small village near to the town of Deber Birhan, 131 kilometers from the capital Addis Ababa, Asgedech Wolde Tensay dreamed of a very different life to the one she is living now. As a child she wanted to go to school and become a teacher.
As her family lives near to the city of Debere Birhan, sending her to school should not have been a problem. “There was even a public school nearby” she says. However, they decided to send her older brother instead and keep her at home so that she could work on the farm and in the household.
Always searching for ways to improve
Growing up on a farm taught Asgedech everything she knows about agriculture. Not only what to do, but also what not to do. “My family owned a very big farm. However, there were always problems in the production. They didn’t produce enough because they were very traditional and never open to any new technology or innovation” she says.
That changed when she became a farmer herself. She now has a very small plot of land of around 1.5 hectares, but Asgedech, who’s now 40, is always searching for ways to improve agriculture productivity and increase her income. That’s why she started breeding animals,producing milk and selling fattened animals like ox and sheep at the market.
She also produces Areke, a very popular local alcoholic drink which is similar to gin. In addition, she rents other people’s land and produces different kinds of vegetables. She says producing vegetables is her favorite part of farming. “I just love and enjoy the work and the result is always very rewarding. I built my house from the revenue I made from producing and selling only carrots” she said happily.