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.


Photo of the day: How Honey can combat poverty!


iDE UK – Helping Asres out of poverty

Today we would like to share with you the story of Asres, and how iDE UK helped him combat poverty through honey production in Ethiopia.

Millions of smallholder farmers in Ethiopia struggle in an environment of limited government assistance, increased competition and insecure agricultural markets. Last year, iDE worked with over 6,000 beekeepers and pepper producers to help them improve their livelihoods. Producing honey means that beekeepers learn valuable business, marketing and negotiating skills whilst also providing an income for themselves and their families, meaning they can help themselves out of poverty.

Having joined the beekeepers cooperative Asres received training in beekeeping techniques as well as new business skills and a new box hive. Asres was then able to produce his own honey, provide an income for himself and his family, and work his way out of poverty.

This is just one example of the great work iDE UK has done across Africa and the globe in fighting poverty through sustainable business and agriculture.

To find out more, please visit our website at:

Polarizing Poverty: iDE’s New Ambassador David Graham

Focusing on poverty: iDE UK is pleased to announce the appointment of social documentary photographer, David Graham as our newest Ambassador.

When it comes to documenting poverty through photography, his images not only evoke a sense of tragedy, but also that of beauty, hope and a belief that we can turn poverty around.

Farm girl - Ethiopia

Poverty through the lens: Farm girl, Ethiopia

We first met David in 2010. Having worked extensively for charities both in the UK and overseas, he had set up his own photo communications charity Changing Ideas and called us, out of the blue, to offer his support.

He soon became iDE’s official unofficial photographer; accompanying us (self funded) on a trip to Ethiopia in late 2011, where we’ve been helping over 4,000 small-scale beekeeping and pepper producing families improve their livelihoods.

He was there too to photo document our work with 6,600 households in southern Ethiopia as part of our EU funded Rural Agricultural Productivity and Development (RAPID) project. He’ll be joining us to photograph iDE projects in Cambodia next month.


Picture perfect: David

David on iDE: “Over the years I have been involved with many charities and I find that IDE is one of the few that provides real and effective long term solutions.”

A staunch supporter; a gifted photographer and a great friend. Thank you, David.

Welcome aboard. Officially.

Poverty action: Find out more about how we are tackling poverty in Ethiopia at iDE UK

iDE Success Story: Busu Gelato – Inspirational Entrepreneur

Mother, farmer and entrepreneur in remote Ethiopia: Busu Gelato, 50, has turned drought into profit to provide a better living for her 8 children.

At iDE we partner with small-scale entrepreneur farmers living in drought stricken areas across the globe. Our water management and recovery systems lift communities out of poverty by tackling one of the biggest causes of poverty: restricted access to fresh water.

When it comes to embodying the spirit of what we do, we think farming entrepreneur Busu Gelato is pretty awesome.

Entrepreneur Ethiopia

iDE UK’s Chief Executive, Lewis Temple chats with entrepreneur Busu Gelato

We first met Busu when she was growing maize and haricot beans on a small plot of land during the rainy season. When the rain stopped she was irrigating using buckets from the nearby lake.

Her average annual income was between £42 and £54.

However after purchasing an iDE treadle pump with a micro loan of £72 facilitated by us, she was able to access and utilize water more efficiently, enabling her to grow green peppers, tomatoes and onions in the dry season when prices are highest.

This increased her income dramatically – she earned £144 within just 4 months and was quickly able to pay off her loan.

The impact of this new income was immediate: not only could she feed her family; she bought a donkey and cart for renting to transport goods and people to markets, and built a corrugated iron sheet roofed house.

Busu’s talent as an entrepreneur blossomed, and she has now opened her own small shop selling soap, coffee and sugar.

Together, we transformed Busu’s quality of life. All she needed was a little guidance and support. Our goal is to free millions more from poverty by providing the assistance they need to become entrepreneurs too.

Busu: ‘IDE really opened our eyes.  For long we were living in a dark area.  Farmers working with IDE are making good progress. In the future we would like support in extending our land – the kind of help we need is training, visiting other farmers, advice in what to grow and how.  IDE should stay with us as we make further progress with irrigation and vegetables.’

Amazing lady. Awesome entrepreneur.

Entrepreneur support: Find out more how we assist impoverished small-scale farmers around the world at iDE UK