A loan of $900 helped a member to buy néré nuts.

Benkadi Group's story

The six members of the Benkadi group are married women who live for the most part in polygamous families in the village of Togo, region of Segou (4th administrative region of Mali). They average 32 years of age and four children each. They know one another as neighbors and through ties of marriage and kinship. They work in small trade selling Soumbala (a condiment), cereals and firewood.

To bolster their working capital, the group members joined the Soro Yiriwaso microfinance institution. This is their 11th group loan cycle.

Mrs. Mariama (standing at the far left in the photo) enjoys a great reputation as a seller of high-quality Soumbala in the village and at the market of Médine in Segou. She will use her loan to buy 400 kg of néré nuts. She buys her stock from Konobougou stall-holders at the big market of Ségou.

Soumbala is made by soaking the néré nuts in water for at least two days. The nuts are rinsed with plain water and drained, then ground with a mortar and rinsed again with plain water. The ground nuts are placed in plastic bags with a small amount of potash for at least three days to ferment. The resulting mixture is the condiment Soumbala, a popular addition to all kinds of sauces.

Mrs. Mariama sells her product cash and on credit from her home and door-to-door around the districts of Ségou to a clientèle consisting mainly of women. She expects to earn an average monthly profit of 25,000 FCFA, which she will use to provide for the children in her household and to invest in her activity.

In this group: Mariama, Awa, Djènèba, Mariama, Mamou, Kaltoumou

Translated from French

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