A mother of two, Enkhtuya lives with her family in northern Mongolia. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, it seemed almost impossible for her to feed her family. Unable to find a permanent job in her home country, she went abroad for two years to earn money for her family. After two years, she had saved enough and returned home. She bought two cows and started selling milk and some dairy products. In addition, she and her husband set up a small vegetable garden.
Acquaintances told Enkhtuya about a project sponsored by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA). She went to a meeting with a local cooperative. There she heard about organic farming for the first time, became curious, and decided to enroll in several training sessions. Enkhtuya received organic seeds and fertilizers and began to apply what she had learned.
With a support loan from a project fund, Enkhtuya bought greenhouses. The vegetable garden became a small farm. She planted cabbage, beans, potatoes, celery, parsley, onions, garlic, and chili. According to ADRA Germany, Enkhtuya harvested 42 tons (about 92,600 pounds) in her first year.
Award as the Best Organic Farmer
ADRA Germany recently reported that in 2020, Enkhtuya was named “Best Organic Farmer of the Year” by Mongolia’s Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry. This has encouraged Enkhtuya and her husband to continue pursuing organic farming. “We all need to work together to advance organic farming,” she said, referring to her company.
Her family is also benefiting from the increased income. “Part of our profits from horticulture is used for my son’s tuition fees. I also want to expand my organic field and learn more about organic farming and its certification,” she said.
The ADRA Project
In northern Mongolia, smallholder farmers have joined forces in cooperatives to produce organic food. They are supported in their project by ADRA and other organizations.
Farmers learn about new farming methods, receiving modern working tools and organic seeds to facilitate their transition to organic farming. With the help of ADRA, the first certification bodies for organic products were developed. ADRA also assisted farmers in finding markets to sell their products.
About ADRA Germany
ADRA is an international non-governmental organization. ADRA Deutschland e.V., based in Weiterstadt near Darmstadt, was founded in 1987 by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The agency is a member of a worldwide organized network with offices in more than 130 countries. It is also a founding member of Aktion Deutschland Hilft.