Conservation Agriculture

Training & Soil Management

We deliver agriculture and livelihoods programs to local farmers focusing on increasing their yields
through sustainable agriculture practices. As a result, we help people generate more income from what
they grow.

TDA is totally committed to Conservation Agriculture. Over 80% of our population is supported by
agriculture. With water stressed small farms averaging less than one acre in size, often on the slopes of
hills – CA works. Every year we train over 3500 small holder farmers in this simple and extremely
effective farming methodology. A key priority is teaching CA to women and people with disabilities to
empower them.

Last year, first-year farmers had increases in crop yields ranging from 47% to 105%. TDA is pioneering
the promotion of Conservation Agriculture in Southern Ethiopia, supported by World Relief Canada and
the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

Conservation Agriculture is a set of soil management practices that minimize the disruption of the soil’s
structure, composition and natural biodiversity. We follow five core principles.

  1. Mulching – maintenance of permanent or semi-permanent soil cover (using either a previous crop
    residue or specifically growing a cover crop for this purpose). Mulching:

    1. keeps available moisture in the soil
    2. keeps the soil from erosion as the rain drop hits the mulch not the soil
    3. when mulch gets decomposed, it increases and improves the fertility of the soil
    4. when mulch is covered well, it suppresses weeds and makes weeding easier for farmers.
  2. No till – Minimum soil disturbance through tillage (just enough to get the seed into the ground).
  3. Crop rotation and intercropping – disrupts the development of plant disease and pests. Some
    legumes and cover crops fix nitrogen to soil.

This is supported through the use of planting stations where we place seed and compost / fertilizer / ash
and cover with mulch, awaiting the first rains.
We are committed to train farmers to train other farmers. We start with a core of farmers in every village.
They are encouraged to train other villagers as their crops show significant increase in yields.
We teach farmers proven management practices:

  • utilization of green manures/cover crops (GMCC’s) to produce the residue cover;
  • no burning of crop residues;
  • integrated disease and pest management;
  • controlled / limited human, animal and mechanical traffic over agricultural soils.

When these CA practices are used by farmers one of the major environmental benefits is reduction in
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Economic Empowerment

Providing Training & Facilitation

Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world. However, the brunt of poverty is higher on women
than men due to culture and social factors. Rural women are almost responsible for everything in the
household. They care for 6 to 8 children, responsible to household chores, responsible to bring food from
market, responsible to support the husband in the farm.

The women in our community are destitute, of low self-esteem, shy, and experience low self-worth. Only
40% of the population are literate. The rate for rural women is much lower.

TDA trains and facilitates the start-up of over 600 Self Help Groups every year. A self-help group is a
village-based financial intermediary committee usually composed of 10–20 people (primarily women).
This proven economic empowerment methodology has changed the lives of thousands and thousands, of
women and their families.

Through the facilitation of TDA staff and a foundation of regular, very small savings contributions, each
group builds up loan funds to help their own members. Social cohesion grows. Regular meetings provide
a venue for personal and community growth and learning.
Women become engaged in income generating activities, own some assets and are enabled to send their
sons and daughters to high schools and colleges.

This has changed the gender dynamics in the household as the wife is bringing some income to the
household and she has something to spend on her own discretion. Besides, the meeting, interaction and
discussion with each other has developed confidence and “I can do sprit” in the women, which is very
important for human development.

TDA does not provide seed money for Self Help Groups. It provides training and facilitation through
volunteer community facilitators.

By mid 2017, TDA has organized 1,377 SHGs with a total number of 23,000 members. The total capital
of SHGs is 9,128,912 ETB and Loan disbursed 6,710,734 ETB. The minimum saving is 2 ETB/week and
maximum saving ETB 100/week. The loan sizes range from 150 ETB to 20,000 ETB


Terepeza is looking for some great partners. Whether land rehabilitation, conservation agriculture, self help groups & economic empowerment of women, emergency humanitarian response we would love to talk with you. Contact us today. Terepeza is the partner of choice in southern Ethiopia.


Natural Resource Management

Restored Land

Soil erosion and degradation with the resulting decrease in soil moisture are major problems in Ethiopia. After years of high population growth, wide cutting of trees, and high tillage of sloping land much of our land is degraded.

Reclaiming wasted and barren lands for community use is a priority. TDA works with the local community to identify wasted and degraded land and discusses the ways and means to reclaim the degraded areas.

Bunds are the most common technique used to collect surface run-off, increase water infiltration and prevent soil erosion. Their principle is comparably simple: by building bunds along the contour lines, water runoff is slowed down, which leads to increased water infiltration and enhanced soil moisture.
As the water flow is decelerated, higher amounts of water can infiltrate in the soil, leading to increased soil moisture. Furthermore, water is spread more evenly, which can prevent gully formation. Using different designs, bunds are constructed either with soil or stones.

Bunds are combined with the use of field trenches, where slots and trenches are excavated to stop, store and infiltrate floodwater and surface run-off. When grasses regenerate or trees grow the benefit is for the community.

Terepeza sets up community nurseries. Restored land is enhanced with the planting of trees, natural grasses and cover crops. Land is protected from grazing and restored to fertility.

Since 2006, TDA has reclaimed over 40,000 hectares of degraded land with local communities. Today these lands are sustained and well managed by the communities.

Humanitarian Response

Proven Local Partner

WKHC-TDA focuses on sustainable long-term development. However, when disaster strikes people we respond to emergencies dependent on the resource we have access to. We are a proven localized partner.

Terepeza acts quickly to provide immediate aid during Humanitarian Crisis’. With 30 years of experience we quickly, effectively and efficiently coordinate resources and programs. This can include food distributions to meet people’s immediate needs, and food-for-work or cash-for-work programs as recovery begins. In 2017, we served over 25,000 families in partnership with Tearfund.

When there is poor access to water and few options to practice good hygiene and sanitation, life-threatening diseases like cholera, malaria and typhoid can spread quickly. We focus on providing access to clean water and sanitation supplies, including dignity kits for women.

We follow SPHERE, Core Humanitarian Standards, and Red Cross / Red Crescent standards.

Health & Nutrition

A Right To The Basics

In Ethiopia 38% of the children are stunted-short for their age, 10% are wasted-thin for their height, 24% are under weight for their age due to under nutrition.

We believe everyone has a right to the basics of life, and consider food, water and health to be fundamental for living well. We are reducing malnutrition in families through nutrition education, provision of clean water, and special feeding programs.

The infant and young children project aims to improve the health and nutritional status of Children from 0 to 23 months of age through the provision and use of regular micro-nutrients. The project is being implemented in 20 districts and four zones (Wolayta, Hadiya, Sidama and Guraghe) of Southern Regional State and addresses over 268,000 beneficiaries through government health structures in the above four zones.

Childcare & Community Development

Longer, Happier Lives

We implement programs for Christian Children’s Fund that create sustainable child-focused, community-based development programs in areas where children are impacted by natural disaster, poverty and global health issues.

We concentrate on Health and Nutrition programs that ensure better health for children, improved school attendance, greater life expectancy and fewer childhood deaths.

Clean water, Sanitation and Hygiene in communities reduces disease and sickness, while saving the hours it takes to collect water for cooking and cleaning — time children can better spend in school.

Education programming creates opportunities. It helps children grow confidently to know their rights, making them less vulnerable to violence and exploitation — including child labour as well as child, early and forced marriage — and better prepared to be leaders in their community.

Through Sustainable Economic Growth programs we help adolescents, youths and adults build small businesses and facilitate skills-training that boosts confidence and self-esteem, allowing parents to provide for their children.
We Strengthen Community Organizations where people work together towards common goals, achieving tangible, positive change. TDA supports 1,700 sponsored children and their families in the project implementation area.

Contact Terepeza

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