Ethiopian Farmers Look to Cash Crops to Build Resilience
Apiyeiw Akwor is the sole bread winner in her household. Her husband died some nine years ago, and now Apiyeiw raises her two children on her own. Apiyeiw’s life is hard. And continued hurdles from climate change – recent droughts caused by El Niño, land degradation, changing rainfall patterns – make it even harder.
Apiyeiw used to plant sorghum and maize along the banks of the Baro River – relying on rains to water the crops. But she never got much more than four quintals (about 400kg) per harvest.
This was hardly enough to support her family, so she would supplement her income by distilling a local alcohol known as areki. The distillation process of this potent potable is quite laborious. More concerning still, the production of areki requires cutting down lots of firewood to keep those stills burning.