It was specifically meant to train men and women on modern methods of farming to raise their productivity potentials and to impart skills for improved housing. It was also to teach rural households develop and use improved household items and farm implements to boost household food production.
In 1977, however, ASE changed its strategy, with a view to making its efforts in this regard more fruitful and started a face-to-face education. Thus, from 1977 to 1986, along with agricultural education, face-to-face training was given to farmers in socio-economics, personal hygiene, environmental sanitation and women’s education. In 1987 ASE registered with Ministry of Justice as indigenous development organization, its working dimension also widened. At this time the situations compelled ASE to include other felt needs of the communities along with the training activities. To this effect, in 1987 ASE adopted a broader Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP).
ASE had developed the first strategic plan (2000 -2006)in year 2000 that emphasized on food security program. In this period, about 30,000 households and a total population of 150,000 people have been served. With a shift from service delivery to Community Empowerment Programme, ASE had developed the second strategic plan (2007-2011) in year 2006; and built on its participatory methodologies with the determination of building community based institution, facilitating community learning & education, promoting local innovations, and Advocacy and networking. The third strategic plan (2010-2015) was developed in 2009. The current strategic plan (2015-2019) states that as part of its overall organizational development endeavour, ASE is envisaging to embark on a process of strategic planning with a view to equipping itself with the appropriate policies, structure, procedures, instruments, etc., that would enable it to discharge its mission with efficiency, whereby meeting the expectations of its stakeholders.
ASE is currently operating in eight weredas of three regional states – Soro, Duna, Misha, Lemo and Unlemo Woredas in Southern Nations and Nationalities People Regional State (SNNPRS); Goncha, and Shebel Berenta weredas in Amhara National Regional State and Dibate in Benshangul Gumuz Regional State. BFW and CARE Ethiopia financially support these programs.