Sisan Mengusha, a farmer in Shoa, faced low crop yields for herself and her livestock. Experimenting with fertilizer in her teff, peas, wheat and barley fields led to a small increase in her harvest, but it wasn’t until she took out a loan through Glimmer’s microfinance program that she saw a marked difference.

The program pairs microfinance loans for agriculture support (like fertilizer) with hands-on training in agricultural practices. This powerful combination made a huge difference on Sisan’s farm. Prior to using any fertilizer, she harvested about two quintals/hectare (that's about 200 kg of crops from an area the size of an average Major League Baseball field). This year she expects to get 16 quintals/hectare — eight times her previous harvest size! Sisan will have no problem repaying her loan and with her new training, will continue to produce significant harvests. 

Leaders like Sisan are crucial to microfinance lending programs in small villages. Her success will inspire additional farmers to take out small loans to help improve their yields.