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Meaza Melkamu Abawari

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Education:

  • Bsc. in Plant Sciences, Alemaya University 2000
  • Msc. Horticulture, Haromaya University 2006

Current Employment:

Food for the Hungry Ethiopia (FHE) as Food Security and Economic Growth Program Manager. She leads the food security program, gives technical guidance and supervises staff assigned at field level. She is also responsible for natural resource management for six NGOs, working in a consortium on food security for which she conducts studies and provides guidance for policy makers, development practitioners and community in conserving natural resource for better food security.

Work History:

World Vision Ethiopia as Agricultural Facilitator, Productive Safety Net and Livelihoods program coordinator, and Grant Program Manager for over six years.

Home:

Meaza lives in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, which has a population of 3,384,569. It is a city of many ethnic groups and is headquarters for African Union. It is located in central Ethiopia.

Greatest Achievements:

"I have spent all the years of my career with rural farmers and served my community with passion. I am still working with rural farmers, especially women farmers. As a child born in town I consider this as a greatest achievement." In addition, Meaza is proud of her Msc., the research she did on post harvest-loss of the tomato crop, and the publication of that research. She says that horticulture was not commonly practiced until recently, when awareness increased and communities developed a culture of planting, eating and marketing horticultural crops. She has secured much funding through proposal writing for food security projects that have changed the lives of farmers in the rural area. I am sure I will be part of the change in my country against poverty.

Future Challenges:

"I have a heart for rural farmers, especially women. Mostly African development is interwoven with culture, social norms and religion. And this has created farmers, especially women farmers to be challenged and remain poor or marginalized. So I want to integrate modern technology, research with development in my continent's context, especially in Ethiopia. Currently in the program I am running, I am trying to integrate indigenous knowledge of farmers with modern technology for sustainable forest management and improved diversified livelihood options."

"There is a recurrent drought in my country and currently there are about 4.5 million people who are seeking aid and the chronic food insecurity is happening year after year. I want to participate in the breaking the chain of poverty through attitudinal change towards poverty and designing sustainable agriculture production policy for small holder farmers of Ethiopia."

Interests:

Meaza enjoys singing, volunteer activities to help the needy, and visiting the sick.

Meaza's Family:

Her family lives in the Eastern part of Ethiopia, Dire Dawa and Jijiga. She was raised in Dire Dawa, the third child of five. She has three sisters and one brother. Her father died when she completed her Bsc. Her mom remarried and now lives in the western part of Ethiopia. "We have a strong attachment in the family and my youngest sister is now living with me in Addis Ababa. I am taking care of her and she is now in grade 11."

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