On the 18 of March 2021, Growth through Nutrition members joined a Feed the Future initiatives experience-sharing visit focused on implementation, technical aspects, and best practices in the Sokicha and Wonago kebeles of the SNNP and Sidama regions. Led by CARE Ethiopia Nutrition Specialist Gizacew Mulu, the team visited several project sites including chicken rearing and homestead gardening households and interviewed members of its Village Economic and Social Associations (VESAs) program - a contemporary of Growth through Nutrition’s own Village Saving Group mechanism. Finally, the two teams had an in-depth discussion to deliberate on some of the visit’s findings, exchange experiences, and reflect on the visit itself.
Some key lessons from the visit include successes such as the cultivation of strong saving culture through VESAs, implementation of a “voucher” system (which requires farmers to save for at least 6 chickens to encourage ownership), successful provision of COVID-19 prevention, and inclusion of various value chains in livelihoods programs. Experience-sharing visits are an important knowledge sharing activity in order to learn from other projects and strengthen implementation across the sector.