A loan of $275 helped farming 1.5 hectares of land, growing maize (corn) and hot peppers.

Sourou's story

Born around 1965 in the district of Kessounou in the town of Dangbo, Mr. Sourou B. is married and the father of one child, who is not enrolled in school. He is a farmer in the village of Glahounsa in the Ouémé valley and is a member of the GM Senablo group of Glahounsa.

The inhabitants of this village work as farmers when the Ouémé River is low. Their land is rich and gives them a good harvest. Their principal crops are maize (corn), hot peppers, vegetables, okra, tomatoes, and manioc. The problem for these people who dwell along the river is that when the river is in flood, they have no more work and spend all the money they earned during the last farming season on foodstuffs. When the waters recede, they have no money left to pay laborers who are indispensible to them in getting their land sown.

The custom of borrowing against the new harvest does not make them more secure and indeed leaves them worse off. They sell their future harvest at a laughable price to weathier persons so that they have the cash needed to do their farming. Weary of this practice, Sourou B. has requested a loan of 130,000 F CFA which will allow him to farm about 1.5 hectares, growing the aforementioned crops.

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Translated from French by Kiva volunteer Teresa Kramer

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