This year, the world has been hit hard by rising prices for gas, food and other daily essentials. For many farmers in Ethiopia, inflation has cost them their livelihoods. Yet simple, natural solutions can mean long term benefits for both people and planet even in times of hardship and crisis. Two women we are working with in Ethiopia on a project in partnership with the IKEA Foundation shared with us how they are thriving on their farms.


38 years old, maize and soy bean farmer
Fantu standing and smiling

The price of chemical fertilizer rose so much earlier this year that Fantu could no longer afford to farm her land. Glimmer trained Fantu and other farmers in her community on the benefits of compost at home with products already on the farm. With the right techniques, organic compost outperforms chemical fertilizer for a fraction of the cost.

Composting has been an opportunity for Fantu to not only continue farming but to expand her crop yields and feed her family. By making use of natural waste around her, like food scraps, animal waste and leaves, Fantu’s crops are now thriving.

Before we used to think that the animal dung was compost, but it is only one ingredient. We never covered our compost either, so it lost nutrients because of the sun. I am hopeful that by employing my training I will change my life and my neighbors too.

Fantu serves as a model farmer in her community. She educates her peers on the benefits of composting, expanding opportunity for others.


40 years old, maize farmer
Mebreja smiling

Mebreja, could no longer farm due to soil degradation and cost of materials. After years of using chemical fertilizer, her coffee trees stopped bearing fruit. Glimmer’s trainings helped her make compost for her land—soon the fruits returned.

She is now expecting to harvest four times more teff on half as much land. After seeing the difference organic compost makes, Mebreja stopped using chemical fertilizer altogether. She plans to share her success and learnings with her community members so that their crop production can increase, just like hers.

This kebele used to be forgotten, a light has shined on our kebele.