Haoua, a 40-year-old mother in Niger, couldn’t take care of her family for one big reason: she was using bad seeds.
Haoua would contribute money with her mates to buy seeds to grow in her market garden. And, because she has to reimburse the money she borrowed, she was only able to break even.
"Before, the women of my village and I contributed money to buy seeds,” she says. “This was difficult for me because I often had to borrow money to make my contribution and I repaid the money with what I earned after the harvest.”
Haoua was never able to get ahead.
“The seeds we bought were not of good quality because after the harvest they were poor and we automatically noticed that the products were not good,” she says. “To get by, I also sold peanut oil and food, and did warehouse work to support my children.”
Niger is a Sahelian country with a fragile ecosystem, two-thirds of which is desert, with agricultural areas concentrated in the southern part of the country. Due to insufficient and irregular rainfall, reduced fertility and the degradation of much of the arable land in rural areas with high population growth, rain fed crops can only feed the majority of households for a few months of the year. To address environmental constraints and livelihood issues, World Vision, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), has implemented the 'Implementation and Monitoring of Irrigated Crop Programme Activities' project. For four months, Haoua's village has received what she grew in her garden.
“Now that I receive seeds from World Vision, every off-season I notice a big change,” says Haoua. “My products, especially salad and tomato, are better and of very good quality. I sell them to the inhabitants of my village, Guidan Roumdji, and other people who come from Maradi.”
She is now able to produce eight baskets of tomatoes, two bags of onions, and four bags of cabbage, earning 22,500 francs (US$ 60) at the end of each sale.
“With the money I earn, I help the other women who are in the site by giving them credit so that they can buy seeds and cultivate their crops,” she says. Haoua is able to buy food and clothes for her children.
“I thank World Vision and FAO very much for their help because through the seeds I received, I produce much more vegetables and of good quality,” she says. “I earn more money than before and it is with this money that I take care of my children. May God bless them.”
Today, Haoua's village and 224 others in Maradi have benefited from this project. These seeds received are cultivated in six market gardening sites of these villages, for the greatest joy of these populations.