Beyene Abebe is a 24-year-old small mechanization service provider in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. Among the different service providers working in the small mechanization project, Beyene is the most successful full-time service provider who offers conventional ploughing and transportation services for smallholder farmers in his village using a small horse power two-wheel tractor. Being young and educated, Beyene is managing his service provision business professionally and successfully. Beyene is trained in two-wheel tractor small mechanization technologies and has previous skills working with agriculture equipment. This has helped him to effectively maintain and operate his two-wheel tractor and its accessories and give different mechanization services throughout the year. Unlike the other service providers, Beyene is a full time service provider and he is realizing high profits from providing different two-wheel tractor services. Beyene’s annual income from providing these services is higher by 259% compared to the average income of other service providers involved in promoting two-wheel tractor technologies in Ethiopia.
With the income he gets from his business, Beyene covers family expenses and made enough savings to buy 0.25 ha (2,500 m2) farm land. On an annual average, he gives transport services to 200 rural households and ploughing services to 40 smallholder farmers living in his village. Beyene has good marketing and promotional skills and plays a key role in small mechanization awareness creation in his community. To promote his small mechanization services, he has been giving ploughing services with discount and sometimes on credit.
Beyene also gives machinery repair and maintenance services to other small mechanization service providers. He has long term goals of improving his business to include higher horse power four-wheel tractors and reach more smallholder farmers and other customers. He is also planning to get a loan to help him increase the range of mechanization services he offers. Beyene’s case shows that education, entrepreneurial skills and business experience could be some of the key qualities that make small mechanization service providers successful in Ethiopia.
Story by Walter Mupangwa