From MFK Agriculture Research and Extension Program Specialists Rick Gethro Macajoux, Ryan Welby & Ben Wiseman
Lèonne is a peanut farmer in Savane-au-Lait. Lèonne has two sons and a daughter, and sends them to school using the money she makes growing peanuts. Peanuts are her favorite crop to grow because they bring the most money at market, but she grows many other crops as well—cassava, sugar cane, yams, Congo beans, corn, and plantains. In addition to farming, Lèonne sells cosmetic products and charcoal. These side-businesses help her make additional income to fill-in when the money from selling crops runs short.
Her favorite memory of farming was the very first time she grew a crop for sale. She was a child and she planted, harvested, and sold corn. It was the very first time she made money, and she felt the satisfaction of being a farmer.
Now an adult with many years of farming behind her, Lèonne thinks that those who know farming know that it is prestigious. She hopes that her kids grow up to be successful in their life, but doesn’t limit her aspirations for them to life on the farm. Her own mother and father farmed in Savane-au-Lait for 50 years, and she remembers her father as the greatest influence in her life. She tries to follow his principles still, always striving to be a better farmer.
In April 2018, she enrolled in MFK’s farmer training program, another action she is taking to improve her farming skills. She hopes she will be able to improve the quality of her peanut harvest by using the information she learns in MFK’s farmer training programs.
We are excited to have motivated and proud farmers like Lèonne in our famer training cohort. We hope, just as she does, that the practices she learns in the farmer training will enable her to grow better crops, increase yields, and increase her income. Thanks for sharing, Lèonne!