ATONU Champions in Tigray, Ethiopia

By Geremew Kumlachew

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Mr. Embaye Berhane and Mrs. Atsede Tsegay are a couple from Hadush Adi village in Tahtay Maychew district in the central zone of Tigray region They are ACGG-ATONU project beneficiaries who have managed to transform their lives in line with the lessons from the ATONU project, and as a result, have been selected as outstanding role models in the village.



Mr. Embaye Brhane and Mrs. Atsede Tsegay
Source: Shumye Belay, Tigray ACGG SNC

Having received 25 Kuroiler chickens from ACGG, four died, leaving the couple with 10 cocks and 11 hens. Armed with knowledge from the ATONU project, the couple managed to implement and derive benefit from the intervention package, especially the thrusts focusing on nutrition and hygiene behaviour change communication aimed at improving consumption of diverse foods, including chickens and eggs at household level and influencing income expenditure from sale of chickens and eggs to purchase other nutritious foods to improve household diets. Out of the ten cocks, six of them were sold at local market with a price of ETBirr180 per bird, giving a total income EtBirr 1,080, which could go towards the purchase of supplementary foods that the family did not produce. At 24 weeks, eight hens started laying eggs, and because of the couple’s exceptional management, the hens lay every day, resulting in a weekly yield of 56 eggs. 75% of the eggs are sold at the local market at a price of ETBirr3 each, leaving behind 14 eggs for a family of four, thus averaging 3 eggs per person per week. The couple emphasized that they will never sell their hens since they are a source of our income and food (eggs), considering instead to sell and eat meat from the cocks.


They get 56 eggs per week

Whilst acknowledging ACGG for the chickens, the couple thanked the ATONU project forteaching them how to prepare and consume a balanced diet, acknowledging that their nutritional status has improved. Mr. Embaye had this to say, “After engaging with the ACGG-ATONU project, our hygiene and sanitation status has improved. We are feeding our children and ourselves using different kinds of food groups at a time.”


The patriarch also embraced the ATONU thrust on the need to promoting the empowerment of women and gender equity and efforts towards improving women’s participation in decision making. The ATONU project also emphasized the need to relieve women with household chores to enable them to have more time to rest and recuperate, as well as tend to the children. To achieve this, Mr. Embaye helps his wife by participating in the feeding, watering, health care of the chickens, as well as erecting and repairing the chicken coop. ATONU project is teaching farmers on the importance of empowering women.


Mr. Embaye Berhane and Mrs. Atsede Tsegay are happy to become one of the successful beneficiary households in the village at this early stage of the project’s implementation, and look forward to being equipped with knowledge and aids to enable them to teach others.


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