Farm Africa Agricultural Projects in Africa

Farm Africa

High levels of poverty have forced many of Bale’s residents to convert the area’s ecologically significant forests into croplands and fell trees for timber. Yet many people still rely on the Eco-region’s dwindling forest resources to earn a living. The consequences of sustained deforestation in Bale could be devastating.

The ecological hotspot is not only home to over a million farmers who rely on forest resources to make a living but the area’s significant water resources underpin the livelihoods of millions of people living beyond Bale’s borders.

Farm Africa Logo

Farm Africa is an international NGO working to build a prosperous rural Africa. They help farmers to increase their harvests and build their incomes while sustaining and protecting the environment. They work closely with local communities, who actively participate in decisions about their work, and partner with governments and the private sector to find the most effective ways to fight poverty. Around 80-85% of Ethiopians are engaged in agriculture, mainly in subsistence and rain-fed farming and livestock production. However, over a third of the population doesn’t have enough nutritious food to eat. Frequent drought, a lack of training and equipment for farmers, and poor access to markets make it difficult for them to earn a living.

Picking Coffee, Farm Africa Project, Bale Mountains, Ethiopia

Projects in the Bale Mountains

Ethiopia’s Bale Eco-region is an area of unique ecological significance. The Eco-region is home to Africa’s largest expanse of Afro-alpine habitat and species of flora and fauna that are not found anywhere else on Earth.

Farm Africa has worked in the region since 2006 with several projects focused on protecting this unique eco-system, and the livelihoods of those communities who rely upon it for their agricultural, pastoral or forest-based livelihoods. They’ve helped farmers earn an income from various forest-friendly businesses, such as beekeeping and wild coffee harvesting enterprises.

In 2012, Farm Africa helped the forest community in Bale establish a REDD+ scheme to enable them to earn additional income from the sale of carbon credits for avoided deforestation. Between 2012 and 2015, a total of 12,496 hectares of forest was saved, which is equivalent to taking 1.2 million passenger vehicles off the road for one year.

Tahrir’s story

Tahrir lives in the Bale Eco-Region. He used to struggle to earn an income from collecting wild coffee from the forest and he was often forced to cut down precious trees and sell their wood to supplement his income.

But Tahrir’s situation changed when he participated in one of Farm Africa’s projects in the region. Along with other members of his farming cooperative Tahrir received training in coffee harvesting methods and was given a wire mesh bed on which he could dry his coffee cherries before selling them, adding significantly to their value. He now understands the importance of quality control: "Before, I used to pick the red and the green cherries, and we would dry them on the earth. Now I have learnt to pick the red berry, and we dry them on a wire mesh.”

Tahrir now sells his coffee for up to 50 Ethiopian birr per kg - double his previous income! And crucially, he no longer has to resort to felling the precious forest in order to provide for his family. He has invested his additional income in his children’s education, and a new family home with a weatherproof iron roof.

To find out more about Farm Africa’s work and how you can support it and communities like Tahrir’s, visit

Related Adventures


To help you choose the right adventure for you, we have given each itinerary a grading that relates to the level of Walking / Trekking you will experience during the trip. This grading can be found on the Yellow map on the adventure page of the website.

All of our trips involve a level of general activity so are designed for people who are in good health, enjoy the outdoors, and have a taste for adventure and some level of fitness. As will be clear from our destinations, the climate (and altitude) may be different to that which you are used to, so please take this into consideration when choosing the most suitable holiday.

Please read our Adventure Itinerary & Essential Information for more information and don't hesitate to contact us if you would like to chat through whether you have found a suitable adventure for you.

Grade 1-3: Entry Level

You need to be in good physical health to enjoy your active holiday, but you don’t need to be an experienced hiker. These itineraries offer a mix of sightseeing and easier walking for around 2-4hrs a day, with the emphasis on sights and cultural experiences. 

Walks will be well marked or on defined pathways, and often around sites of interest. The expected amount of descent/ascent will depend on the landscapes of the destination, but will not exceed 400m/day, and will often be much less. Walks are at low altitude (below 3000m). 

You will not be required to carry more than a day sack with water and essentials. Ensure you are aware of the weather conditions likely in the destination you are visiting and have a pair of comfortable and worn in walking shoes/boots.

Grades 4-6: Intermediate

You need to have a good level of fitness and be a regular walker for these adventures, with ideally some trekking experience. You can expect to be walking for 3-6 hours per day, not including rest stops, normally on good trail paths but with some uneven surfaces at times. 

You will not be required to carry more than a day sack. You may be walking in more challenging temperatures. You will generally be walking at low altitude (below 3000m) but may walk at altitudes up to 4000m. The amount of ascent could be up to 800m in a day but will frequently be less. You may walk on consecutive days.

Ensure you are aware of the weather conditions likely in the destination you are visiting and have suitable clothing for this adventure.

Grades 7-9: Challenging

You need to have a good level of fitness with previous experience of trekking. Extra training before your trip will ensure that you get the most out of your adventure. Areas will be remote and terrain uneven. 

Expect to walk for 5 – 8 hours a day, not including breaks, with some very steep ascents and descents. You will be walking at altitude (over 3000m but not higher than 5000m).

Ensure you are aware of the weather conditions likely in the destination you are visiting and have suitable equipment/clothing for this adventure (see the packing list for your adventure).

Please check individual itineraries for details of what you will need to be carrying with you.

Get in touch

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