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Learning Agenda of the FSRE . Aloe Value Chain project Christian Aid/HUNDEE March 2014 Addis Ababa. Borena and Guji Zones are two of the 18 Zones in Oromia NRS Area is 69,373.3 km² and has an estimated population of 1,548,888 (Regional Atlas 1998)

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learning agenda of the fsre

Learning Agenda of the FSRE

Aloe Value Chain project

Christian Aid/HUNDEE

March 2014

Addis Ababa

Borena and Guji Zones are two of the 18 Zones in Oromia NRS

Area is 69,373.3 km² and has an estimated population of 1,548,888 (Regional Atlas 1998)

62.5% low land –below 1500masl, 37.5% moderate highland

Bimodal and erratic rainfall pattern

Livelihood mainly depends on livestock and livestock products

Rich in Natural resources like gum and incenses, Aloe, natural salt, minerals … but with little awareness on the commercial viability of this products


Water, Palm/vegetable oil, caustic soda and Aloe sap


Harvest about 6 leaves of Aloe and place it clean jug to allow sap to drain out

Measure the caustic soda first ensuring the measuring container is DRY- put into plastic bowel or plate

Measure the water into plastic basin

Measure the oil into a jug

Add caustic soda to water

Still until the soda dissolves completely and mixture goes back to clean in color

technology continued
Technology continued …
  • Leave the caustic soda to cool slightly
  • Once it gets cold- Stir in the oil slowly- only on ONE direction
  • Add the Aloe sap, enough to slightly change the color of the solution –if too much the soap will be dark and unappealing
  • After some 5-10 minutes of stiring the mixture should become thick and creamy and should hold a trail mark
  • When this stage is reached – pour into moulds
  • Leave for 48 hours
  • Turn out of moulds, cut, neaten edges, dry, pack and label

strong flumes

technology continued1
Technology continued …


  • Equipment should be made of plastic or wood NOT metal due to the chemical reaction
  • Always add caustic soda to water- NEVER water to caustic soda
  • Be very careful when measuring or mixing not to get into your eyes or skin as it has a burning corrosive effect and gives off
200 (80%F) peoples organized into 4 Aloe soap/lotion making and marketing cooperatives – legally certified

Have a workshop and Produce soap in a group interchangeably

160 women’s organized into eight SHG to maximize their social and economic benefits –

SHG members practice weekly saving from income obtained from sale of products

SHG members discuss on various issues gender, HTP and others

One marketing assessment will be conducted on success and failure of a community based aloe enterprise

Mainly focus on local market – product outlet shop, village shops

Support two local promotional markets at village and district towns

Linked with ‘Milki” cooperative union

Making soap is very profitable, if vegetable oil is purchased at normal market prices

The costs of one piece of soap are 8 ETB and this piece can be sold for 12 ETB, so the Gross RoI is in the range of 50%.

The price of vegetable oil is the main determinant of the profit. If it rises sharply, the profit will be reduced substantially.

The present interference of the government in the vegetable oil market is a potential threat for the soap producers.

Spontaneous adoption of the soap making skill can take place around Yabello town where the costs of purchasing the raw materials as well as the marketing costs are lower

financial efficiency
Financial efficiency
  • Cooperatives will be provided with training, seed money and other little inputs to start production of soap/lotion
  • Beneficiaries /cooperative members/ contribute local materials and labor for construction of workshop
  • Members fully work on cultivation of Aloe plant in 4ha of land
environmental issues
6ha of land obtained for planting Aloe resources

Aloe plant plays a great role in protecting wind and water erosions as the species generates through the production of 'suckers'.

Small ‘suckers’ grow off the side of the 'mother' plant in close proximity to the root covering large areas and providing protection.

The crop can store water and survive for longer period of time during drought.

Environmental issues
80% cooperative members are women

Women work on soap making in a group and be paid on monthly/weekly bases based on number of soap they make

Cooperative management bodies are mainly women’s

20% male members of the cooperatives are intentionally added to protect mainly to protect women’s from any cultural challenges and to maximize mutual support

food security
The income from the soap will be used to buy food for the household or other life-necessities.

Saving from SHG can be used to buy livestock's – which are main source of food (milk and butter)

Loan from SHG – will be used to do other IGA – income used to buy food and other items

Food Security
  • It would be good for the cooperatives to be a member of “Milki” cooperative union for purchase of raw materials and marketing
learning questions

Technical: - Is this soap of good quality

Social (gender): - Will this not lead to extra work for women? How much will women earn per day? Will the men control the money?

Economics: - What is the price composition? Will it change when ingredients get more expensive?

Environmental: - How to measure environ­mental impact? There are already plenty Aloe plants in Borena. Will this make a difference?

Learning questions
learning questions1
Learning questions…

Impact on Food Security and Entrepreneurship

Household level

  • How much will the women earn?
  • Can all HH afford to participate in the exercise (sp. those who move with their animals)?
  • How much (money, time, etc.) do the buyers of the soap save?

Cooperative level

  • What will be the tasks of the coop and what of members (e.g. coop only input supply and marketing or also production?
  • How will the work be managed?
  • Will staff be paid?
learning questions2
Learning questions…
  • How will members benefit: they work on their own or in groups?
  • How will that be administrated and organized?
  • What is the relation between the SHG and the soap coops?
  • How will the impact of the SHG be measured?
  • How will raw material supply be secured after project phase out?
  • Why is there no reference to the Bio Enterprise in Yabello which supports other soap coops?
learning questions3
Learning questions…

Scaling up: constraints and opportunities

Technical Aspect

  • All will be interested to know potential new products

Market Aspect

  • What is an optimal scale of production and what is the maximum market size?
  • All will be interested in the market assessment, product development etc.
  • What could be the role of the Bio Enterprise in Yabello that is marketing Aloe soap already?

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