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Tarikuwa on her flourishing beetroot farm in Ethiopia

Ripple Effect: Empowering smallholders to steward the land

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4 min

For the last 35 years, Ripple Effect has been supporting smallholder farmers with the knowledge, skills and confidence to grow their food sustainably, increase their incomes and build agri-businesses.

Anuli Uzodi, a member of the Ripple Effect team, tells us about the impact they are having in helping families to fight hunger and poverty:

Helping families fight hunger and poverty

Nearly 70 percent of people in Africa depend on the land to grow their food and earn income. But every day we meet smallholder farmers in rural Africa who have lost hope in their ability to transform their lives. A cruel bind of poverty, climate vulnerability and a lack of farming knowledge combine to make even the most resourceful person feel powerless.

We help people to get their lives back on track and protect the planet.

It starts on an African farm

Ripple Effect works in six African countries – Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia, supporting farming communities in three areas:

  1. Sustainable agriculture: We show people how to make their land more productive and biodiverse using agroecological principles that nourish the land, protecting and restoring it for future generations. 70% of farmers working with Ripple Effect have achieved food security.
  2. Enterprise: Once a farmer is producing enough food to feed their family, we support them to start agri-businesses that will generate income and create stable futures. We offer local communities a hand-up, rather than a hand-out.
  3. Gender and inclusion: We include everyone, so women and marginalized people have greater voice and influence in their homes and communities, and the whole community has the opportunity of a better future.

In all that we do, it's people who matter most, before the land or the business.

Making ripples of change

Families tell us that what they value most about working with Ripple Effect is becoming teachers and donors themselves, sharing their resources and skills with neighbours.

For every family we work with, another three families benefit. As they learn more, grow more and sell more, a ripple effect of positive change quickly spreads – reaching far beyond the farm.

Almaz, a farmer in Ethiopia, passing on her skills and seedlings to other families in her community.

As I've learned these challenges firsthand, I don't want others to be hungry or live in poverty. I want to share and teach others. I enjoy empowering and sharing with others and this is my gift to them.

- Almaz (pictured centre), is a farmer in Ethiopia passing on her skills and seedlings to other families in her community.

Bearing the heat of the climate crisis

Our work over the last three decades has not been without challenges. Covid-19 stifled local businesses, the global cost of living crisis is hitting families in Africa hard, and the climate crisis is affecting farmers first and worst.

This year eastern Africa experienced its worst drought in 40 years, which disrupted planting and harvest seasons and led to significant crop losses.

But we can’t give up. The people we work with inspire us with their strength and resilience, and we are proud when we see them steward the resources we provide to start off or adapt their farming under difficult conditions.

Who is Ripple Effect? 

Ripple Effect (formerly Send a Cow) has a vision of a confident thriving and sustainable rural Africa, with a mission to inspire and equip African communities to transform lives and protect the planet. They have been empowering farming communities in Africa since 1988 and have reached 1.2 million people. Ripple Effect has a goal to help 5 million more people out of poverty by 2030 through their expertise in sustainable agriculture, gender and social inclusion, and enterprise.


You can help Ripple Effect to inspire and equip more smallholders to build their livelihoods by giving with Stewardship.



You can find out more about the work of Ripple Effect and the positive impact they are having by exploring their blogs and news.


Please pray for the team who provide support and training to farming families; for protection for them as they travel and for creativity as they seek to adapt their training with the ever-changing needs of farming communities. Ripple Effect would also value prayer for those of us in the UK too – that we will be mindful of our actions and understand more of our interdependence across the globe.


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