Traditional African vegetables for the next generation
These crops have improved the present situation of a farmer in Burkina Faso, and offer a promising future for her grandson
It’s never too late to live one’s own dreams, as 50-year-old Mrs. Pendo Bande of Abaza village in Burkina Faso, realized a few years ago. In 2013, she began producing traditional African vegetables to sell in local markets. She also contributed to the revitalization of her environment by creating a community garden based on the Village Model Farm promoted by Hellen Keller International (HKI), a World Vegetable Center partner.
“I had always dreamed of becoming a grandmother and spend good time with my grandsons and granddaughters,” she said. “Unfortunately, the death of my daughter-in-law three weeks after the delivery of my grandson, Soumaila, drove me to battle for survival. There have never been farmers in my family, but for the love of my grandson, I wished to create a job from which he would benefit.”
Mrs. Bande is from the Fulani ethnic group, a traditionally nomadic and pastoralist people. With training in vegetable production techniques, she set up and manages her garden and is also responsible for a small Best Practice Hub in her neighborhood of Abaza Silmissin. The hub currently has 35 Fulani women who produce traditional African vegetables on an area of 900 m2 with a well to facilitate irrigation.
There have never been farmers in my family, but for the love of my grandson, I wished to create a job from which he would benefit.
Contributor: Regine Kamga, AVRDC West and Central Africa, Cameroon