In partnership with our sister organization DOUBLE HARVEST Netherlands, Genesis Farms was started in November of 1996 for the purpose of demonstrating large scale, integrated agricultural production. A large compound was built that includes an office building, greenhouses, poultry parent stock barns, hatchery, farm store, training center, devotion hall, ebb and flood irrigation beds, and a feed mill. Currently, the work force numbers 550 people led by General Manager and Ethiopian partner, Behailu Wolde. Genesis Farms grows 20+ varieties of vegetables and harvests 150,000 pounds of produce weekly. The dairy barn is fully occupied with 120 cows providing milk for the processing plant. Genesis Farms’ butter, cheese, and yogurt are market leaders in quality and taste. The hatchery produces 4,500 chicks per week and the egg production averages 12,000 per day. Genesis Farms’ internship program provides hands-on training to men and women from all over Africa.
The continuing challenge is to increase productivity in all sectors of the Genesis Farms’ integrated farm operation. We test and trial new varieties for increased yields, mechanize repetitive work, implement best practices, and consult with leading agriculturists to maximize productivity. Genesis Farms is an effective model of a profitable agricultural business and a “seeing is believing” reality to the vision of DOUBLE HARVEST.
Genesis Farms’ field foreman, Abebo Tsegaye, started Zion Farm with capital resources and equipment provided by DOUBLE HARVEST. He leased 12 acres of land near Mojo, brought in electrical service, drilled a well, built greenhouse space to grow transplants and to produce vegetables. Abebo continues to expand the vegetable production and is diversifying his operation by raising pigs (80) and chickens. We meet with Abebo annually to encourage and consult with him regarding farm issues – we bring information and improvements he can use to better his operation.
Theodorus Zewdie, milk processing manager at Genesis Farms, transitioned to partner with two Dutch businessmen to form Holland Dairy PLC. New state of the art facilities were constructed with drive-in coolers, cheese curing room, receiving docks and milk pasteurizing and processing equipment. Genesis Farms provides methane gas from it biogas digester to fuel the pasteurizing process at Holland Dairy. There is friendly competition and cooperation between the two milk processing plants.
Gert van Putten of DOUBLE HARVEST Netherlands, in partnership with Girma Azeze of Debre Zeyt, started Maranatha Farm PLC in January of 2009. The farm is located 3 kilometers west of Genesis Farms. They will be specializing in poultry and egg production, breeding of dairy cows and production of cattle feed.
Genesis Awassa, PLC was started in partnership with Selam Awassa, PLC to grow vegetable transplants for the small vegetable farmers in the Awassa Lake region. Andualem Tefera was hired as operations manager and he is conducting growing tests at three sites to determine if there are water quality concerns in the area. We are doing a large scale pilot project with Tadesse Belay of Awassa Greenwood PLC, a large vegetable operation, to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Winstrip transplant system used at all our farms worldwide.