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OSRA started promoting cereal bank associations in 1998 with the objective of improving food security at household level through increasing the availability and accessibility of food grain. Besides, cereal bank was also aimed at providing alternative market outlets and thereby increase farmers’ income through improving market access.
The Cereal banks also serve as a social forum where members discuss and try to make effort to mitigate their socio economic problems.
In this program, OSRA supported farmers to get organized through providing infrastructures such as grain stores, offices, and equipments, seed money, technical support and market advice so that the associations engage in purchase, storage and sell of grains. It has also helped them build their capacity through training, learning and exchanges among themselves.
OSRA has so far supported establishment of 24 cereal bank associations that have 1976 members with a current total capital of birr 2,663026.17 in different villages of its operational areas- Akaki, Adaberga, Becho, and Ilu districts. Since 2008, some of the cereal bank associations have been focusing more on marketing with the aim of improving the income of their member farmers through increasing their competitiveness in the market.
They have moved from traditionally buying and selling grains to more dynamic market oriented farmer marketing organizations (FMOs). OSRA has been supporting these FMOs to access remunerative markets through value chain development approaches and strengthening their capacity in various aspects.