We are thrilled to have been made joint winners* of the BOND award for innovation.

BOND is the membership body for international development organisations working in the UK. At their awards ceremony in London on 20 March, we received the award for our Taro Project. Working in southern Ethiopia, the project tackled hunger, malnutrition and poverty in farming communities.

Led by Send a Cow’s Ethiopian staff, the project focused on improving the shelf life and usability of taro. Taro is a starchy, root vegetable which is widely eaten in the south of the country. Working hand-in-hand with local farmers, we trained farmers to process fresh taro into chips and then flour.Winners of the Bond Award

This simple approach made a real impact, increasing the shelf life of taro from two to 18 months. As a result, farmers are now able to feed their families all year round.

The project also helped farmers introduce taro to the local market, where they were able to get 72% more for the crop.

Ethiopian farmer Kunta Ala described how being part of the project has changed his life:

So much has changed since we started to process our taro. We now eat injera (Ethiopian bread) on a regular basis…we earn additional income and consume a wide variety of new food.

As part of the project, charity staff developed a number of new recipes using taro flour including cookies, bread and pancakes.

Head of Programmes, Gemma Porter, said:

We’re thrilled to receive this award and have our work recognised by such a credible organisation as BOND. Our Ethiopian staff put a huge amount of work into this project and the results have been incredible. It’s amazing to think that because of their ingenuity, hundreds of farming families can now eat well and lift themselves out of poverty.

The farmers have also impressed and inspired us with their commitment, hard work and trust in Send a Cow, and have been a pivotal part of the project’s success.

Find out more about the Taro project here or watch our video:

* Congratulations to our co-winners, CABI (Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International).