Beginning in 1996, this farmer-led initiative, based in Ethiopia, has worked closely with rural agricultural communities to alleviate poverty, reach food security, and rehabilitate the degraded environment. Their initiatives land within the following areas: 1) system of rice and crop intensification; 2) agroforestry; 3) soil fertility and enhancement; 4) bio-slurry and biogas; 5) push-pull technology; 6) supporting innovator farmers; 7) awareness-raising activities; 8) adapting to the effects of climate change; and 9) research support.
The Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD) sustainable community development program promotes ecological agriculture based on local inputs and improved natural resource management, partnering with local experts and administrative authorities. The main goal is to improve ecosystem services and raise crop yields for farmers and the community. They provide training and education and extension services, and facilitate experience–sharing.
Gizaw Gebremariam, the program manager, explained that when they first introduced the system of row–planting, the farmers laughed at them. Now, 90% of farmers in the Tigray region are using row–planting in their own fields, which results in growing more crops in less space, fewer weeds, and healthier soil.