This week, we’re pleased to introduce you to the final candidate in the FarmQuest reality radio program in Mali: Diakaridja Fomba. Much like his fellow candidate Mamadou Diarra, Diakaridja moved to the city in search of a better life before realizing that his future was back home, on the land.
When asked why more young people don’t stay on the farm, he said that, like him, many young people lack the tools and equipment they need to succeed, and so look to find their fortunes elsewhere.
Diakaridja joined the FarmQuest project to advance his chicken farm. He knew that he needed to build a modern chicken coop, but lacked the knowledge and money to build one that would meet government specifications. Through FarmQuest, he was able to access the resources he needed to build the coop he envisioned, and is already planning to construct a second coop to house his guinea fowl.
Advice given by his local mentor and agricultural experts led him to purchase six special breeding roosters called Wassaché — a decision that doubled his egg production. With Malians preferring the taste and texture of locally grown, free-range chickens like those grown by Diakaridja, he is sure to get good prices at the market and prosper as a result of his expanding chicken farm.
Many young farmers now come to Diakaridja for advice and he enjoys sharing his expertise. A group of young farmers from a neighbouring village, who heard about his experience over the radio, were also inspired to create an association to learn and grow together, demonstrating the power of the FarmQuest program to illustrate the power and potential of farming.
This self-professed “born farmer” will undoubtedly not stop working and helping other farmers until he reaches his goal of a chicken for each person in Mali.
We hope that you enjoyed learning about Diakaridja’s farming experience. Stay tuned for next week’s post, which will share the perspective of partner station Radio Fanaka in running the FarmQuest program. (If you just can’t wait for the next video or want to watch others in the series, please 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)