Love for dairy keeping brewed in Sululta
Tamrat Tiruneh is a man with a strong personality. Born and raised in Addis, Ethiopia Mekonen went through tough and trying times. One of the major things that altered his life was being jailed for almost seven years by the government during the Derg regime. Hitting rock bottom at the time made him decide to live life as simply as possible.
Mekonen first came to Sululta as an engineer looking for rocks for construction purpose. After learning that the area was rich with the types of rocks he was looking for, he decided to bring rock crushers on site for his engineering company.
Given his background is engineering and the fact that he came to Sululta for the same purpose, starting and owning a dairy farm was completely not in his plan. One of the men who was working for him at the rock crushing site suggested that he buys two cows for his personal dairy consumption.
After thinking through it, he considered his love for the area, his family’s love for milk, and the area’s suitability for dairy farm and decided to give it a shot. Today, Mekonen passionately celebrates seven years since he decided to start a dairy farm.
Mekonen gets no profit from this yet. According to him, his biggest profit from this is his stock. He only wants to make sure that he has a good number of stock by the time he retires from his engineering career and moves his house next to the ranch.
He just seems to know the right way to handle them and the community in general. He shares whatever facility he brings for his ranch with them.
“I give them clean water for free, maintains the road and helps the nearby school with different facilities,” notes Mekonen. Moreover, he has brought employment opportunites in the area which helps them either earn a better income or a little extra than what they already make from selling fire wood or traditional farming. Especially, giving the women the freedom to juggle their day between their job and their house chore has helped him gain their love and loyalty.
Started with less than 40,000 birr capital, two cows, and one employee, A to Z farm has now 51 cows, 14 employees,5 hectares of land. Most importantly, he has gained a perfect getaway to an alluring landscape, soul soothing weather as well as love and trust from the community.