Success Story: Muze Meskelo’s Maize

Follow the journey of Muze Meskelo, an entrepreneurial farmer from Ethiopia

iDE entrepreneurial farmer in Ethiopia

Meet Muze Meskelo, entrepreneurial maize farmer and father of six children under 12 years old. He owns three sheep, two ox, a cow and a calf and owns half a hectare of Maize fields to grow his crops. He worked hard every day tending to his crops and his farm, yet was not producing enough maize to provide a sufficient income for his family.

Before he was introduced to iDE UK, his field produced 1.2 tonnes of maize, which would have made him around 3,600 Birr (£120) per year. He was then introduced to an iDE UK EU funded project called RAPID, which aimed to work with local smallholder farmers such as Muze to help them improve their crops and sustainably increase their income. Through the iDE UK project, Muze was able to get credit through a one year loan from a partner organisation to buy seeds and fertiliser and pay someone to weed his land. From the new maize seeds and fertiliser introduced by innovative iDE UK technologies and produced by local manufacturers, Muze was expecting to increase his crop yield to 5 tonnes from the same half a hectare space. This meant he was able to increase his income to a brilliant 15,920 Birr (£524) a year to provide for him and his family. Muze is now a successful entrepreneurial farmer and will continue to make a sustainable income from his crops!

Another successful project from iDE UK!

To donate to iDE UK and help other poor farmers in Africa and Asia create sustainable poverty-free livelihoods to support themselves and their families, please support us in The Big Give Christmas Challenge. All donations made 10am Thursday 6th – Saturday 8th December will be matched by The Waterloo Foundation.


One week to go to The Big Give Christmas Challenge!

Double all donations made to iDE UK between the 6th – 8th December with The Big Give Christmas Challenge


iDE UK have been given an incredible opportunity to double donations made to us between the 6th – 8th December! As part of the Big Give Christmas Challenge The Waterloo Foundation has very kindly agreed to match the donations we receive in these three days!

This means that if we reach our target of £10,000 we could be investing £20,000 into helping poor farmers work their way out of poverty!

iDE UK works with thousands of poor small-holder farmers in Africa and Asia, adopting market-based solutions to help them work their way out of poverty. From experience we know that every £1 given to iDE UK creates an additional £10 in household income for farmers and their families. This means that a matched donation of £100 could result in a poor farmer being £2,000 better off!

Here are some of the wonderful things that your Big Give donation could do:

A donation of £25 will be doubled to £50, which could pay an iDE UK Field Officer’s wages for one week. Field Officers work with around 500 poor farmers each week, ensuring they grow the right crops at the right time of year and to make sure they have access to profitable market opportunities. The role also involves training and supporting local Farm Business Advisors, as well as working with local manufacturers to ensure they are producing quality goods that can be sold to local farmers.

A donation of £75 will be doubled to £150, which could pay for the installation of a treadle pump. This is vital for demonstrating the technology to local farmers, who can then invest in their own treadle pump in order to expand their farm business. Treadle pumps enable farmers to access large quantities of water in an easy, cheap and environmentally friendly way. Access to water is an essential part of increasing both the quality and the quantity of crops, leading to better nutrition and a higher income for poor farmers.

A donation of £250 will be doubled to £500, which could pay for the training of a Farm Business Advisor. Farm Business Advisors are individual entrepreneurs who deal with around 130 farmers each week, encouraging and equipping them to grow market orientated crops in order to create an income for themselves and their families. Farm Business Advisors are an invaluable source of knowledge and support for entrepreneurial farmers working their way out of poverty.

Remember, the challenge starts at 10am on Thursday 6th December (exactly one week today!) The online donation system can become congested and on occasions may crash. Please make your donation as close to 10am as possible to ensure that you get your donation matched!

We would appreciate any donation, no matter what the size, and all donations will go directly towards helping poor farmers work their way out of poverty. Please don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to make the maximum impact on global poverty from your donation.

Donate to iDE UK (but remember it will only be matched from 10am Thursday 6th – Saturday 8th!)

Countdown begins for The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2012!

Fantastic opportunity to double online donations made to iDE UK between the 6th and 8th December.

iDE UK - helping rural Ethiopian farmers out of poverty

We are currently gearing up to our biggest fundraising event of the year with The Big Give Christmas Challenge! This fantastic opportunity pairs charities with trusts and foundations in order to double all money donated within a three day period in December. This year, The Waterloo Foundation has very kindly agreed to support iDE UK and could match donations of up to £5,000 per person coupled with further matching by our pledges!

This means that if we achieve our target we will raise a fantastic £20,000, which will go towards our projects working with poor smallholder farmers.

We will be reminding you nearer the time, but for now please keep these date in your diaries and get ready to help poor farmers create sustainable livelihoods and work their way out of poverty!

Remember ONLY the money raised on the 6th, 7th and 8th of December will be matched by The Waterloo Foundation and our pledges. Please donate from at 10am on these days to ensure that your donations get matched as the matching pot can get exhausted if you leave it too late! 

London based artist Sandra Shashou hosts exhibition for iDE UK


Last Tuesday iDE UK were invited to a private art exhibition hosted by London based artist, Sandra Shashou, at her house in Primrose Hill. As well as being able to view many of her original pieces and prints, Sandra also generously donated proceeds from the sales made on the night to iDE UK.

We all had a great evening with Sandra and enjoyed her artwork, which included mixed media collages of Margaret Thatcher, Nelson Mandela and Usain Bolt.

We would like to say a big thank you to Sandra for hosting the event and for everyone that came along to support us.

If any of our supporters would like to find out more about Sandra and her work, please visit her website here:

Or to hold your own event for iDE UK please contact Lizzi at:

Interested in fundraising? Skydive for iDE UK!

Are you a thrillseeker? Want a challenging fundraising idea? Why not do a charity skydive for iDE UK? 

Working with the London Parachute School we are able to offer brave individuals the chance to skydive for FREE! Fundraising a minimum of £345 for your jump and a £50 registration fee is all it takes!

Never skydived before? Not a problem. The London Parachute School offers tandem skydiving with an instructor to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. And it has never been more convenient as you are able to experience the thrill of skydiving at 26 different locations across the UK. It’s a perfect opportunity to do one of those things you have always wanted to do and fundraising for a fantastic cause at the same time!

With your support we can continue our vital work, helping rural households in developing countries with access to water and profitable links to markets.

To sign up for a skydive with iDE UK or for more fundraising ideas please contact Elizabeth Gordon on 0208 905 5597 or email

For more information on skydiving contact LPS on 0845 130 7194 or email

Have you ever undertaken a skydive for fundraising? If so we’d love to hear about it!

The Big Jubilee Lunch: Now there’s a hearty fundraising idea!

iDE UK is supporting a brilliant fundraising initiative from the Eden Project: celebrate The Diamond Jubilee by organising a fundraising lunch with your neighbours and friends!

‘The Big Lunch’ nationwide communities event will take place on Sunday 3rd June and is set to be the way to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Held annually, The Big Lunch encourages communities across the UK to organise lunch events, getting neighbours and friends together in a simple act of community, friendship and fun.

This is where you come in! We’re encouraging our supporters to hold an event in their local community for iDE UK. It can be anything from a few neighbours getting together in their gardens to a full blown street party with food, music and decoration.

Can we give you some fundraising ideas? We certainly can! You can approach local shops and restaurants to donate food, or you can ask people to donate towards a venue that will host your event – it’s easy! You can also jazz up your party by holding competitions or raffles to help bring in some extra pounds too.

Start planning your event today! To find out more or request a FREE Information Pack online, just visit or call 0845 850 8181 to speak to one of the team.

For more information from iDE UK please contact our fundraising officer Elizabeth Gordon on 0208 905 5597 or email

It’s iDE UK Awareness Week: Share to Inspire!

30th April – 6th May is iDE UK Awareness Week 2012. This year we’re raising awareness about female farming entrepreneurs – and we need your help!

At iDE UK we have long recognised the important role that women play in agricultural development. Women provide the majority of farm labour – including crop production, livestock development, and the provision and use of water for household and farming needs.

Although women do much of the work, they often lack the resources available to men. Given equal access to resources and control over their outputs, women farmers are as productive as male farmers. They are also more likely than their male counterparts to use their increased income to pay for children’s food, education and health care.

Recognising the significant size of the female farming segment and the important role that women play in agricultural production and household wellbeing, iDE UK ensures that women farmers are as likely as male farmers to benefit from our rural programmes.

This year iDE UK awareness week highlights the incredible contribution women make and gives you the opportunity to support female farmers, simply by sharing.

We invite you to share a stunning set of images via email, blogs, photo sharing websites….any way that you can, by simply passing on an image or two from the iDE UK photo blog or Pinterest page. By doing so you will be raising awareness of iDE UK programmes that create income and livelihood opportunities for impoverished farming communities.

Just a simple click or two and you can be changing lives.

Care to share?