Taimaka: supporting small farmers in North Nigeria

by Taimaka in Gombe, Nigeria

Taimaka: supporting small farmers in North Nigeria
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We want to help families in Northern Nigeria escape extreme poverty. With your donation, we'll start this summer in Gombe State.

by Taimaka in Gombe, Nigeria

We'd like you to meet Bama, a smallholder farmer in Gombe State, Nigeria. Like many parents, Bama wants the best for his kids. He works incredibly hard everyday under the blazing sun, raising and selling his crops to give his kids a brighter future. Unfortunately, Bama faces an economic problem: by the time he gets to the harvest, he is short on money and storage space. So, he is faced with a brutal question: sell his crops for an unfairly low price or send his kids to sleep hungry. 

We want to help Bama and the millions of farmers like him in Northern Nigeria who face this problem. Based on research from economists at UC Berkeley and Harvard , we are providing Bama and 49 farmers like him with a combination of low-interest loans and PICS bags to store their harvest. Our hope is that, equipped with a loan and storage bags, Bama will sell his crops when the price is highest, as opposed to when he is terrified that they will rot, or desperately needs to feed his family. By doing so, he will grow his income, enabling him to save and invest more in the subsequent seasons.  If this trial works, we will expand the program across Gombe and Bauchi State, which have a collective population of 5 million, the majority of whom live in poverty. If it does not, we will come back to the drawing board and figure out what will work sustainably to support families like Bama's.

We are Parth, Ope, Esther, and Justin, four undergrads at Oxford, led by Muhammad Biri, a professor at Abubakar Tafawa Balewo University in Nigeria. We're doing this because we were lucky enough to never experience the trade off between being compensated fairly for our hard work and having food to eat. Bama has not been so lucky, and so we see it as our moral obligation to do what we can for him. We hope, sincerely, that you can support us with a donation and share some luck with Bama. 

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