A New Life for Sahura
KANO STATE, NIGERIA — Sahura Munkaila, age 55, was born and raised in the village of Gamadan in northern Nigeria. She married at the age of 16, and her husband’s untimely death left her a widow with five children to care for.
Now all her children are grown and married, and Sahura is a grandmother. One of her young grandsons lives with her, and life has been challenging for the two of them. “I could not afford to enrol my grandson in school, which was of great concern to me, especially when he reminded me of his peers who went to the government school in the neighbouring village,” she said.
Like other women, especially other widows, Sahura has faced tremendous challenges in regard to land accessibility, labour costs, and market access. But she is not one to be deterred from achieving her goals by the challenges that life has thrown at her.
Instead, she has been working hard to sustain herself and her grandson. Farming is her only means of livelihood, and she used to plant only cereal crops. Because she was unfamiliar with improved seeds, fertilisation methods, and general farm management techniques like crop rotation, she got low yields, year in and year out.
Then Amina Ado, the local EWS-KT Technical Field Officer, trained Sahura in improved agricultural techniques. For Sahura and her grandson, EWS-KT has made a huge difference in their lives.
“The whole experience has been astonishing, and for me, EWS-KT’s intervention came when I thought my life was over. This experience is something I never dreamt of, but it is happening right in front of me. Now I can boast of modern farming skills and gaining income that has changed my life for good.”
— Sahura Munkaila
As a key farmer, Sahura also mobilised women in her community to learn EWS-KT’s innovative agricultural techniques. An improved ground nursery for onion was set up as a demonstration plot, and the women were all impressed with the germination. Soon other techniques were demonstrated, and the women saw that the hybrid seeds produced better results than the local varieties. The women were always interested in learning from EWS-KT, as they believed that these new ways of vegetable farming would increase their earnings and raise the standard of living for their families.
“The whole experience has been astonishing, and for me, EWS-KT’s intervention came when I thought my life was over,” said Sahura. “This experience is something I never dreamt of, but it is happening right in front of me. Now I can boast of modern farming skills and gaining income that has changed my life for good. I can proudly say goodbye to poverty now, as everyone sees my life has changed.”
“My grandchild is also benefiting,” she added, “as I was able to not only enrol him in school but buy him a bicycle he rides every morning to school to ease his journey.”
Sahura is saving to buy more seeds and farm inputs, as she has now completed two crop cycles and is ready to become an adoption farmer. In this role, she will serve as an EWS-KT ambassador in her community and will train women who have heard her transformational story and therefore are interested in EWS-KT’s vegetable farming interventions.