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Agricultural Solutions to Food Insecurity

In working to foster health and wellness in communities across Kenya, Alabaster has seen the need for access to healthy food. In April 2022, Alabaster began working with representatives from Ethiopia and Kenya to initiate a new study of a drought-tolerant crop called Enset. Currently, Enset grows and is used for food only in Southern Ethiopia, but its potential to provide sustenance and food security across the drought-ridden East African region has been touted by agriculturists for years.

Now, Alabaster, along with our partner, Girl Child Network in Kenya, has launched a new endeavor: The Enset Food Security Initiative to further understand Enset and its ability to grow and thrive in famine-prone regions, especially in farms led by indigenous women.

Alabaster is honored to be partnering with indigenous women in Ethiopia, specifically the Gamo Highlands, to learn more about Enset farming and practices since Enset is exclusively cultivated by women in Ethiopia. We will also be working with Enset experts from the Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute and Arba Minch University in Ethiopia and researchers from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya to conduct research and community surveys to establish Enset as a solution to food insecurity in the region.

To learn more about key milestones in our Enset Food Security Initiative, please click here:

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Enset Food Security Initiative in Ethiopia

Alabaster in collaboration with our partners at Arba Minch University (AMU) has established an Enset nursery in Ethiopia in Arba Minch and in the Gamo Highlands to support our Enset Food Security Initiative. Enset plantlets are thriving and will be used for drought tolerance and disease tolerance experiments, eventually to be transferred to local farmers for planting.


Dorze Women’s Enset Craft Cooperative

Alabaster is so pleased to announce the launch of the first-ever international Enset crafts collaboration in the U.S.! Alabaster and our partners at AMU have sponsored and inaugurated the Dorze Women’s Enset Craft Cooperative in the Dorze region of the Gamo Highlands, Ethiopia bringing together 18 women in need of economic empowerment to open the community’s first women-owned business selling handmade baskets, bags and other items made exclusively from Enset fiber. The women have secured a shop to sell their crafts locally, but have also decided to collaborate with Alabaster to make their handiwork available to an international audience as well. Alabaster’s Arise and Shine Collection: Ethiopia Edition features their work and is now open for a limited time only while supplies last. 100% of proceeds go toward the Dorze women.

Click here to visit the store.



Innovative Community-Based Enset Processing Site

Enset cultivation, harvesting, and processing are functions exclusively performed by women in Ethiopia. It is a labor-intensive and time-consuming process that can be very burdensome for female smallholder Enset farmers. AMU and Alabaster are teaming up to address this problem by constructing a permanent community-based Enset processing site in the Chencha district of the Gamo Highlands in Ethiopia. The site will house innovative Enset processing equipment and machines eliminating the need to process Enset by hand. Soon the community will have 24/7 access to the site, enabling women to more easily process Enset to provide food for their families, roof their homes, feed their livestock, and create business opportunities for economic empowerment. We believe reducing this burden on women will uplift the entire community! Stay tuned for photos as construction begins on this new site!

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