Stiftung Green Ethiopia | Postfach | CH-8405 Winterthur +41 (0)52 233 1531

… for a healthy diet

Water from forests and fertile soils enables farmers to increase their crop production and yield from their files. The available food becomes wider and more diverse. Vegetables, fruits, milk, eggs and honey contribute significantly to a healthier diet, even during the dry season.

The vegetable and new fruits from our garden enrich my family’s diet and I can earn some money by selling them on the market.Genet Mengistu

The food situation of rural farming families

Most areas in Ethiopia enable the cultivation of vegetables or food during and after the 3 to 4 month rainy season, crops that have always provided the nutritional basis for the population. As an example, the teff – a type of millet that is only cultivated in East Africa. Teff flour is a basis for the ethiopian flat bread “injera”. Likewise, the Enset, also called false banana is a basis for the “Kocho” flat bread.

Forests are improving the water balance and thus contribute a lot to the improvement of food, especially through the second crop rotation and the cultivation of fruit trees and vegetables. Furthermore, forests have many other positive influences on the food and the nutrition of people and animals:

  • Thanks to the plant diversity and the protected meadows with flowers between and at the foot of trees, insects and bees return and honey production is possible
  • Thanks to the prevention of erosion, the cultivated land can be recovered. The groundwater level and the yields are rising
  • Grass and forage crops are growing in the forests and at the foot of the reforested mountains and hills. For example, the Sesbania tree, which branches and twigs are cut to feed cows, donkeys, sheep and coats.
  • Well-fed animals that have access to sufficient water increase their production of milk, eggs and meat. Donkeys are healthy and strong and relieve women of arduous works.
  • Growing vegetables in the fields frees up space in farmer’s garden, giving them the possibility to cultivate other useful and medicinal plants such as various herbs, ginger, pumpkin or sunflowers.

By improving the water balance, the soil quality and the land reclamation, forests directly contribute to a diverse a diverse and healthy diet. Healthy people are strong people who take control of their lifes.

A rich teff harvest at the foot of the reforestation area

Our contribution

As healthy diet is strongly linked with forests and effective natural cycles, we implement food security projects as subsequent projects together with groups of small holders after a successful reforestation. In addition to vegetable cultivation and fruit trees plantation (see water projects), we also attach importance to beekeeping with honey production. Beekeeping is typically carried out by groups of landless people, namely young farmers who do not inherit any land from their parents because the parents do not have enough land to distribute it among the children (and therefore only the eldest get a piece of land, the youngest remain landless and thus without perspectives).

In many project areas, a variety of projects and initiatives have developed themselves, depending on local conditions and possibilities. It is a great pleasure for us to see during our visits how much can develop from trees and forests, and with how much joy farmers, women and youth invite us to share their success.

Rope water pump below the reforestation area for drinking water and irrigation of the fruit trees.
Here you may support our projects and the people in Ethiopia with a donation. Thank you very much for your contribution!