Imagine you’re a Malian farmer. Once a year you plant your corn, your sorghum, your peanuts, your millet. You pray for solid rainfall and a large enough harvest to feed your family for the year. Once you harvest your crops and sell what you can, you fret about how you’ll manage your money over the next several months, when your income is sporadic and unreliable. Since you live in a rural area, very far from the nearest paved road, storing your money in a bank isn’t really an option. And of course you support your family and friends when they get sick or encounter some other financial burden. Then, several months after harvest you must come up with a big lump sum to purchase fertilizer and seeds to start the cycle all over again. Sounds stressful, no?
If you’re lucky enough to be in a myAgro
village, you can instead pay doni doni,
or little by little, as they say in Bambara. Every few days, week, or month, you purchase a scratch card from your local boutique and send in a text message with the number on the back of the card. With that text, you’ve made a payment toward your myAgro package of fertilizer, seeds, and advisory services.
Fertilizer and seeds: just a text away
Then, when June comes around and the rains start to fall, you no longer wonder how you’ll come up with the money you need. Instead you can focus on planting using the new techniques you’ve learned from your myAgro field agent.
A field agent teaches farmers techniques to increase their yields in peanut farming.
As a Kiva Fellow with myAgro, an agricultural social enterprise based in Bamako, I’ve spent the past few months watching farmers slowly but surely pay doni doni
toward their packages. Two weeks ago I had the wonderful opportunity to take part in the event farmers had been waiting all year for: delivery.
20 tons of fertilizer and seeds!
Over the course of about a week, myAgro delivered over 680 tons of fertilizer and seeds to about 10,000 farmers spread across more than 150 villages in Mali in Senegal. The myAgro field staff were energetic and the atmosphere was congenial, even in those delivery sites where over 300 farmers anxiously awaited their packages.
What does that all amount to? Lots and lots of happy farmers!
Nothing but smiles
Want to learn more about the amazing work of one of Kiva’s most innovative field partners? Check out myAgro’s site
to learn more.
Feeling inspired to do your part in helping feed Sub-Saharan Africa? Lend to a farmer today.