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Welmera Project Area

Welmera woreda (district) is found in Addis Ababa/Finfinne Surrounding Special Zone of Oromia Oromia National Regional State, Ethiopia. The woreda is located at 34 km to the west of Addis Ababa and lies between 8°50′-9°15′ N and 38°25′-38°45′ E. The Woreda has a total area of 65,605 hectares.


Ecologically the woreda consists of highland (Dega) and mid-highland (Woyina Dega) agro-climatic zones that cover about 61% and 39% of the total area respectively. The mean altitude of the woreda is 2400 meters above sea level, which is ranging from 2060 to 3380masl. It has an annual average rainfall of 1,144 millimetres,  and annual average temperature of 14 ºc.


According to the population projection report of CSA (2014 – 2017)[1], the rural population of Welmera woreda was 95,740, out of which 48,189 were male and 47,551 were female. The woreda has 25 kebeles (sub districts) and 23 of them are rural while the remaining two are urban. The proposed project will be implemented in four mid-highland kebeles namely, Dufa, Telecho, Ulafota, and Wajitu Harbu. The local experts from the office of Agriculture and Natural Resource describe the soil of the target kebeles as vertisol 5%, clay soil 85% and mixed 10%.


Over 90% of the total areas of the target kebeles are under cultivation for crop production and the rest 10% of the area is utilized for residential as home stead and as communal grazing and shrub lands. Land, human labour, oxen and other livestock are the most important economic resources that form the basis for the household economy of the project area. Wheat, Barley, field Bean, peas, teff and maize are the main dominant crops, as potatoes, onion, and garlic are the dominant vegetable crops and the area is also favourable for livestock production with its suitable market accessibility.


While MELCA formed, in 2015, local seed conservators and producers farmers’ association in Telecho Kebele of the woreda and has also built a community seed bank (CSB) it has also worked with the association to support building its capacity through a small grant  obtained from Newfield Foundation after termination of the previous project. The  capacity building mainly focused on refresher trainings for the farmers on conservation of their local seed varieties and enhance their productivity through  participatory local variety selection, production and use of organic inputs and healthy soil fertility management. This initial support had some contribution in strengthening the communities engaged in promoting the seed preserving culture through their seed banks, planting in their farm fields as a way toward small-scale farmers’ local seed sovereignty, with participatory engagement of rural women in local seed crops management undertakings. Furthermore, promote awareness by organizing woreda wide seed and food fairs.

[1] Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Central Statistical Agency Population Projection of Ethiopia for All Regions At Wereda Level from 2014 – 2017.

  1. Project summary


Project title: Enhancing the Resilience Capacity of Smallholder Farmers in Welmera Woreda through Promotion of Agro-ecological Practices and Improvement of Livelihoods with Market Access
Location(s) of the Project: Welmera Woreda of Addis Ababa surrounding Special Zone, in Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia
Total duration of the Project: Four and half years (July 2022 to December 2026)
Project budget:

(in Euro)

Target group(s):


Direct beneficiaries:

Household level– 600 households (400 male headed and 200 female headed) each with average family size of 5 people (consisting a total of 3000 beneficiaries) will benefit from the project.


Individual Level: At individual level while 220 unemployed youth and women are expected to benefit from the project by being supported to be engaged in eco-friendly income generating activities and raise their own incomes for living, about 1200 primary and secondary school students engaged in Social Empowerment through Group and Nature Interaction (SEGNI) school clubs in 10 schools will benefit from the project through participating in the extra-curricular learning arrangement about culture, nature, traditional ecological knowledge and the interconnections among these.

Indirect beneficiaries:

Household level– 1500 households in the project intervention areas/kebeles

Individual level: 300 unemployed youth and women in the target kebeles, 2000 none-school SEGNI club member students

Government level: Pertinent sectoral offices in the local government administration will also benefit from the project through the employment opportunities, awareness raising and community mobilization for conservation of local seed varieties,  forest and agro-biodiversity and creation of young eco-advocates who will be actively engaged in conservation of bio-cultural diversity of their communities.

Project Goal and objectives Goal: To contribute to national level poverty reduction through promotion of sustainable agricultural practices that building resilience and wellbeing of communities and their ecosystems.


Objective: To support communities engaged in sustainable agriculture and other eco-friendly livelihood practices that improve their life and living conditions while at the same time protecting their environment and conserving their bio-cultural diversity.

Specific objectives:

1.      To contribute to conservation of farmers’ seed varieties and agro-biodiversity

2.      To increase household income of smallholder farmer families through supporting them to be engaged in agro-ecological practices and facilitation of market access.

3.      To contribute to reduction of unemployment and poverty in the project area by supporting women and youth to be engaged in eco-friendly income generation activities

4.      To enhance participation of youth and community members in sustainable bio-cultural diversity conservation and management of the local natural resources

Project Outcome(s) Overall outcome:  Sustainable agricultural practices that better support the livelihood and natural resource management of communities enhanced

Immediate outcomes:

Outcome 1:  Household income of 600 smallholder farmer families engaged in agro-ecology and got market access increased by 40%.

Outcome 2:  220 unemployed youth and women will have their own income from being engaged in eco-friendly income generating activities (IGAs) and market access

Outcome 3: 1200 school SEGNI club members will become eco-advocates and actively engaged in conservation of bio-cultural diversity of their communities

Outcome 4.  Rehabilitation and conservation of natural resources on 20 hectares of degraded land enhanced

Project Outputs Outcome 1.

Output 1.1 Institutional capacity of the local seed variety conservator and produces farmers’ association and their CSB strengthened

Output 1.2. Access to locally adapted and with high nutritional value farmers’ seed varieties improved.

Output 1.3. 600 farmer families engaged in agro-ecological practices (use organic inputs, local seed varieties and other agro-ecological techniques)

Output 1.4. Better market linkage created for agro-ecology products of the farmers.

Output 1.5 Supportive capacity of pertinent local government institutions and personnel enhanced.


Outcome 2:

Output 2.1. 12 women self-help groups (SHG) consisting of 180 members formed (6 previously established groups revitalized and 6 new ones formed.)

Output 2.2. 180 SHG members supported to engage in business of their choice and generate income for living.

Output 2.3. Saving culture and access to credit improved


Output 2.4.  One youth group consisting 20 members formed and engaged in production and marketing of fuel saving stoves

Output 2.5. 20 youth get skill and vocational training in specific field of their choice for a period of 3-6 months.


Outcome 3:

Output 3.1. 10 SEGNI school clubs established/strengthened

Output 3.2. 600 SEGNI club members trained on nature, culture and self through SEGNI field days.

Output 3.3. Institutional capacity of SEGNI school clubs and woreda education office strengthened.


Outcome 4

Output 4.1 Physical and biological soil and water conservation works done on degraded lands potentially threatening 50 hectares of surrounding farmlands

Output 4.2 at least 40 thousand multipurpose and indigenous tree seedlings planted at household backyards, individual farms, compounds of private firms, institutional and communal lands

Output 4.3. 600 farmer households start to use renewable energy sources including fuel saving stoves.

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MELCA-Ethiopia is a non-governmental non-profit making local organization legally registered in accordance with Organizations of Civil Societies Proclamation No. 1113/2019 with registration No. 0348 and operating in Ethiopia. MELCA-Ethiopia envisions seeing healthy and prosperous people that conserve their bio-cultural diversity and carries the mission of working for healthy ecosystems, resilient communities and critical young generation

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