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Hungry No More

Hello and welcome to our newsletter. Our farming season is well on its way! Since our last publication, our farmers have successfully been grouped into Trust Groups, trained at our Farm University and received their inputs for the season. We are making swift progress towards planting, and then harvest. 

Photo: Esther Usman, Babban Gona Member, Kaduna State.


If Esther Usman had been told 21 years ago that she would not need to approach the beginning of the farming season with trepidation, she would have not have believed it. The unpredictable yields she got from her farm year after year had become a constant occurrence.  A good outcome was never assured.

Two years ago, Babban Gona representatives came to her community and introduced her to what Babban Gona had to offer - a suite of services that included access to quality seeds, herbicides and fertilizers, as well as practical training on the correct amounts and timings of application. As someone who learnt farming by observation, trial and error, the services provided by BG sounded too good to be true! Esther enthusiastically became a Babban Gona member, and has seen a consistent increase in her yields at harvest, all thanks to the quality inputs and teaching on good agronomic practices she received via Babban Gona.

Esther, like many of the farmers we work with was particularly happy about harvest advance loan, or 'tallafi' in Hausa, as well as the future bonuses paid on a quarterly basis to Babban Gona members from the delayed sales premium obtained from the sale of their grains (historically between 25-50% above market prices obtainable at harvest). She says “[…] But now, after joining Babban Gona, the bonus I am paid in April, July and October helps me to pay for some things during the dry season when there isn’t a lot of money [flowing] around for us farmers. I also don’t have to struggle for money during the next farming season”.

This period of 'leanness' is all too familiar to smallholder farmers. Common in communities predominately dependent on agriculture as a means of livelihood, it is a time when a farming family’s food reserve runs out, and the period of waiting for another harvest begins. It is typically the period between planting and harvest. These times are particularly challenging for smallholder farmers and their dependants who rely totally on what they get from their farms
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Esther, a mother of six is thrilled that she can still have a source of income to rely on to feed her family, pay the bills and send her children to school between harvests. Even though she was unable to complete her education because of the untimely death of her father, the breadwinner at the time, she has high hopes that being a Babban Gona member will allow her children to complete their schooling and dreams of seeing them become doctors, lawyers, or teachers.  When asked about her memories from before joining Babban Gona, she describes a picture of a constant struggle-the result of depending on an unstable and unpredictable income.  Esther remembers the feelings of worry and nervousness that kept her up at night-anxious about how she would feed, buy school uniforms, shoes, and books for her children especially during the dry season.  But not anymore.

"Babban Gona, Maganin Awo, Allah ya yadda!" **
                                                      - Gabriel Mato, Babban Gona Member (2015)
 

** Translated to mean Babban Gona - medicine for hunger, God provided!.

2019 Planting Season Updates

This planting season, we are employing a two-pronged strategy to ensure that our farmers' incomes and livelihoods are significantly transformed. First, is through our Babban Gona Direct (BGD) program which has been in operation for seven (7) consecutive planting seasons and through which we have grown our franchise to cover over 16,000 smallholder farmers. The second is through our newly launched Trust Group Enterprise (TGE) program.

Our Trust Group Enterprise is a business tool we launched this season in three (3) new states to give young agricultural entrepreneurs an opportunity to run a successful enterprise with help and support from Babban Gona. In consideration of our value in putting our members first, we envision positively impacting rural farming communities by giving the youth the opportunity to set up their own enterprises. 

Latest Jobs

We are Hiring! 
Team Lead, Software Engineering (Android/Web)

We are looking to hire a seasoned engineer with demonstrated experience in developing robust mobile and web applications, light web development and scripting. The selected individual will work alongside other members of Babban Gona’s Product Development team and take ownership on technical delivery of projects.
Head of Corporate Finance
We are looking for a passionate, driven, and knowledgeable professional with demonstrated experience in raising capital through different channels (including but not limited to capital markets, commercial debt, and impact investment funds), build on our successful fundraising activities, and execute on a comprehensive debt strategy.
Financial Controller
We are looking to hire a dynamic leader to assume the role of Financial Controller. The role requires experience with coordinating audit activities and managing budget development and analysis, accounts payable and receivable, general ledger, payroll, and accounting for investments, and an ability to translate complex financial concepts.
Product Manager
We are seeking a passionate individual to lead the product team. This individual must possess demonstrated experience in managing a world-class design team, and lead in the development of robust mobile and web applications.

Babban Gona In the News

 

Our work was recently featured in Private Sector & Development, a quarterly magazine by Proparco, the private sector financing arm of Agence Française de Développement (AFD). Read here how our model addresses the structural problems keeping farmers in a cycle of poverty.

 

 

We are honoured to have our MD, Kola Masha in the spotlight alongside over 200 other inspiring Harvard Business School Alumni in this new book Problem Solving: HBS Alumni Making A Difference in the World. Click here to read more.
 

 

The Africa Report's recent list of 'The 100 Most Influential Africans' celebrated the work of our MD, Kola Masha alongside other notable Africans such as Lupita Nyongo'o, Akinwunmi Adesina and Onyeka Akumah- individuals positively transforming the African continent through their work. 

 
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Babban Gona · No. 9 Professor Olagoke Olabisi Street, Oceanside Estate, Lekki Phase 1 · Lagos 100211 · Nigeria

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