The seasons are changing, the rainy season is here and nature is preparing to sprout and to blossom. The first days of March coincided with the first days of rainfall. Famers are busy with preparations of their farmlands for cultivation.
A Visit to one of the Local Farmers
Several weeks have passed since EDEMCS (Ewu Development and Educational Multipurpose Cooperative Society) gave out microfinance loans to the local farmers in the Ewu Community. Collectively we thought that it might be time to visit the women, to see the progress they have made and to hear their stories. Hence, a group of EDEMCS representatives set out to see these seven farmers in their homes and on their farms. Listening to the people is one of the key features of Participatory Action Research, based on the integral research model that forms the theoretical framework of EDEMCS community development approach.
Crops and Animals Farming Essentials
The majority of the farmers are planting cassava, yam, tomatoes and peppers. It is now a very intensive time for them. The money from the first grant was mainly used to clear the fields. Since this is done by hand and not with automated machinery, it is a time-consuming and expensive task. This means bigger farmland for planting can be prepared.
Upon questioning if they would apply for a loan again all of them said yes, however, they proposed to increase the amount of money. This proposal will be taking into consideration for the next round of financing but is also dependent on how the end result will look.
Some of the women are cultivating poultry – turkey and chicken to be specific. They buy chicks, raise them until they are matured, and then sell them on the market. With the loans, they increased the number of chicks and it remains to be seen if this will be something they can sustain and hence profit from it in the long run.
The overall experience of seeing the farmers and how excited they are about this development effort was very positive.
Of course, we are only in our starting phase and not everything is perfect yet, but a solid start has been made and hopefully we will further develop in the future in order to be a sustainable initiative.
Written by Amadeus Stickl