Harnessing Too Much of a Good Thing: Irrigating with Underground Springs

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A few miles away from Malede Abreha’s farm lives Abadi Redehey, a former soldier

A few miles away from Malede Abreha’s farm lives Abadi Redehey, a former soldier. Abadi, like the former American soldiers turned farmers we profiled a few weeks ago, finds a sense of peace and fulfillment in farming that he couldn’t find in the military—he told us there is nothing he would rather do than grow food.

Abadi moved his family onto some of the most inhospitable land for farming in the region. Because of underground springs the land was ironically too water-logged to farm. By building a series of underground canals that enter into two wells on the property, Abadi is now able to manage the amount of water available to crops on his farm. And the difference between his farm and a neighboring farm is easy to see—On Abadi’s side the corn is green and healthy, while on his neighbor’s side, the crops are shriveled from the lack of rain that has afflicted the region for nearly four years.

And like Malede, Abadi is also a farmer leader in Prolinnova’s group, teaching other farmers his practices and spreading innovations by example.

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