Better Seed and Technologies Bring Windfall to Nah Dramé

Monday, July 22, 2019
Nah Drame in her farm
ICRISAT

What makes Mrs Nah Dramé from Sofara in Djenné district, a witness to the effects of low rainfall and climate variability in the past decades declare that “farming is most profitable and women can earn better livelihoods from it?”

 This mother of 9 children and a grandmother has seen bad times, lack of quality seed and information on good agronomic practices affect productivity in her village.  Her local variety no longer produces enough to feed the family and dependents.  In 2014, when Sofara was included as a target area in the Africa Rising’s Large Scale Diffusion of Technologies for Sorghum and Millet Systems (ARDT_SMS) project in Mopti region, her active participation in its enabling technologies transformed her life.

Climate resilient and drought-resistant millet and sorghum are the main crops grown in the Sahel.  The project’s objective was to increase the incomes of sorghum and pearl millet producers in targeted intervention areas by raising the productivity and profitability of these cereals.  Therefore the project introduced and promoted the use of improved technologies such as open-pollinated varieties and hybrids of sorghum and millet, seed treatment, integrated soil fertility and Striga management, and biological control of the millet head miner.  Farmers who adopted them have reaped the rewards of a 60 percent increase in productivity.

Nah attended the trainings on land preparation and sowing, application of fertilizer and irrigation at recommended times and doses, harvesting, drying, and storing provided by the project.  Replicating her learnings in the farmer field school on her farm, she was able to produce quality seed, which in turn contributed to improving production, food and income generated for her family.  Emboldened by the turn of luck, she extended her sorghum and millet farm from 2 hectares to 5.  Her attention to detail and use of quality seed and improved technologies have not gone waste.  Her seed is now sold under the label of the national seed laboratory. “I produce seed varieties that can cope with climate change.  My seed is sold to farmers in my village, neighboring villages, local farmers’ cooperatives and NGOs,” says proudly Nah and concluded “Farming has become very profitable!  Women can earn better livelihoods nowadays.  Thanks to the ARDT-SMS project for training me in seed production!”

“During 2016-2017, my family together produced 5000 kg of sorghum and 6000 kg of millet, earning us U.S. $ 4952.90, of which we spent U.S. $ 467.26 on labor and U.S. $ 280.35 on clothes and mobile phones for my grandsons,” Nah adds. This revenue has led to a cascading effect.  Nah now employs three staff to help out.

Despite the low rainfall, she is confident quality seed and good agronomic practices will bring in a good harvest.

For her children and grandchildren, this windfall has meant Nah was able to pay U.S. $ 373.80 towards the training fee for her youngest child and U.S. $ 46.73 for school kits for her grandchildren.  Another U.S. $ 93.45 given to her daughter to start a new business in selling foodstuff has meant a whole new standard of living for the entire family.  She also bought a cart, horses, oxen and is building a bigger house.  And there’s no stopping Nah now!

Last updated: October 03, 2019

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