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).
In 2000 ASE developed its first strategic plan that focused on food security, which served up to the end of 2006. The second strategic plan of ASE that focuses on Community Empowerment came to effect in 2007. ASE envisioned seeing a developed Ethiopia where citizens enjoy a dignified life and its mission is to facilitate the empowerment of the poor and marginalized in Ethiopia towards a sustainable livelihood. In all phases, ASE’s activities were led by training/participatory learning. ASE, with the rich experience it gained through years, is working towards becoming center of excellence in community learning. One of the activities planned towards this end is readdressing correspondence education to disseminate agricultural knowledge and skill among farmers.
ASE is currently operating in ten weredas of six regional states – Miskan, Mareko, Burji and Amaro Special Woredas in Southern Nations and Nationalities People Regional State (SNNPRS); Dawe Kechen, Guradamole and Raiytu in Oromia National Regional State; Goncha, and Shebell Berenta weredas in Amhara National Regional State and Dibate in Benshangul Gumuz Regional State. USAID, EED, European Union Trociare/CAFOD/ SCIAF, BIG Lottery, CARE and PCI financially support these programs.