Interview with Ramata Ouedraogo, Farmer with We Are the Solution
I am a farmer in Burkina Faso. I am a member of the Sinignassigui Association of Bama in the province of Houet.
How long have you been benefiting from this Grassroots International supported project?
Since 2016. The technical assistance and resources from the [project] has helped improve our skills in agroecological farming. Before joining the project, I was cultivating vegetables on just a 300 m² plot: cabbage, tomatoes, and green peppers. But with the help that I received for agroecological farming, I was able to expand to 500 m². [My plot] is part of the 12 hectares of irrigated farmland that our women’s farming association owns.
Before the support began, how much were you earning from your slots in one season?
I sell the produce throughout the season as it is harvested. During the last season I sold produce two times per week at Bama and at the farmers’ market in Bobo. It totaled about 85,000 CFR per season. After the agroecology training, I was able to produce my own compost and organic insecticide. At the end of this year’s growing season, the total amount I was able to earn rose to 250,000 CFR. The cabbage and green peppers brought in a lot of income this year.
Has this project helped you improve your standard of living?
Yes, it has improved because with the money I earned, I am going to be able to …. buy spices and condiments, pay for my children’s school fees, and medical expenses as well. I want to expand my farm plot to at least a quarter of a hectare. With the extra rice production, but I will be able to earn more income. I would like to expand my soap-making side business which I have in Soumbala, although I will need extra funds for that.
I am very thankful to FENOP and Grassroots International for their support of this project. We hope that this support can grow over the next two years because there are many of us in our association. This would help many more women benefit.