Turning Harvest Surplus into Two Goats and A Pig

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Sep 18, 2014 Category: Farmer Profile Tags: beans burundi harvest surplus maize training

Gloriose works hard. At 35, she’s a mother to six. She and her husband Donacien rely solely on the food they produce, farming just over an acre of land in Masango Hill, Burundi. To provide for her family all year round, all she has in her arsenal of tools is a machete, a hand hoe and a few bags of seed.

Gloriose used to mix a variety of different crops together on her small plot of land. She’d plant maize, beans, cassava, and other vegetables without paying any attention to what went where, or how close one seed sat to another.

“I didn’t know how to space seeds or rotate my crops,” she says. “Very often, I didn’t use fertilizer because it was too expensive. Sometimes I would have to sell a goat just so that I could afford it.”

In 2012, One Acre Fund began operating in the village where Gloriose lives. As soon as she heard that One Acre Fund was offering planting trainings and fertilizer on credit, Gloriose decided to join.

“I was very excited to hear the fertilizer would be delivered close to my house,” she exclaims. “I used to walk more than 6 miles to reach the shops where I could buy it!”

In her first harvest after joining One Acre Fund, Gloriose’s beans doubled from 220 pounds to 440 pounds. Her maize crop also improved drastically. For the first time ever, she harvested more than 260 pounds of maize. Previously she had not harvested more than 110 pounds in her best year.

“440 pounds of beans and 260 pounds of maize were the result of changing my planting methods,” Gloriose says. “The One Acre Fund field officer taught me how to plant in lines and how to apply the same small-dose of fertilizer to each crop. It’s not easy to take care of children in Burundi, but One Acre Fund is making it possible. I am now feeding my children, buying them clothes, and paying their school fees.”

Gloriose was also able to sell her surplus harvest to buy two goats and one pig.

“The goats and the pig will both produce manure that can be used to mix with the fertilizer, which One Acre Fund has taught us how to do. This year, I’ve set my goals even higher. I don’t think I’ll harvest less than 600 pounds of maize!” she says excitedly.

If Gloriose succeeds in increasing her harvest this year, she plans to invest in more land to farm.

“My plan for next year is to sell my additional harvest and my two goats to buy more land. Then, I can continue to harvest even more over the next five years,” Gloriose says, smiling at the thought of bountiful harvests to come.

By: (Albert Kamau) On: 01/16/2015

One acre Africa you are heading somewhere because of you effort.

By: (videlis ongweko) On: 10/15/2014

this is wonderfull,for one acre fund.keep up