This video introduces you to Awa Doumbia, a FarmQuest contestant from the village of Dien, in Mali’s Mopti District.
Through her participation in the FarmQuest project, Awa was able to start peanut farming. Her village chief granted her more than two and a half acres of land near her home on which to farm, and she received credit from Farm Radio International that enabled her to rent oxen to prepare her field for planting and buy peanut seed and a plough. She was also supported by a mentor in her community and various agricultural experts, which helped her learn about peanut farming and get certified as a peanut seed producer.
Awa’s FarmQuest experience illustrates the importance of providing support to young farmers to help them succeed. Farming is not easy and may take a few years of hard work before turning a profit. It can be especially challenging for young female farmers, who may not be given access to land, support and credit like Awa was. However, what young farmers lack in experience, they make up for in energy and dedication. Awa is committed to succeed, not only to help provide for her four children, but to serve her community by becoming a seed producer for other local farmers.
Awa’s advice to other young farmers is to stay on the land, and she encourages men to support women’s farming efforts. “When you have power, you can play a role. When we have a voice, we can take our rightful place in society,” said Awa.
We hope that you enjoyed learning about Awa’s farming experience and will stay tuned to meet the next FarmQuest candidate. (If you just can’t wait for the next video, see below.)
Made possible with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, FarmQuest was a reality radio program broadcast in Mali to encourage youth to consider farming as a legitimate and profitable career choice, and not just a means of subsistence, by following six farmers competing to be named “best young farmer of the year.” Learn more about about the project by checking out the following links:
– FarmQuest audio (in Bambara with English transcripts)
– “Can a reality show really deliver aid to Africa?” (article in the Toronto Star by Marc Ellison)