My name is Alhakatu Umaru and I am 43 years old. I joined The Hunger Project (THP)-Ghana’s Microfinance Program (MFP) in 2006, when I realized how much money I was spending on food. This motivated me to take out a loan with the aim of starting a small farming venture.
Before my contact with THP-Ghana, I had a working capital of GH 300 (US$211) from buying and selling assorted wares: beans, rice and “charley-wotey” (plastic shower sandals). My whole focus was just on this petty trading. All my food items had to be bought -cassava, plantains and gari (grated and fried cassava), among others. This was quite a challenge, and soon I realized that most of my profits from the petty trading were going to buy food for my family’s consumption.
After joining THP-Ghana’s MFP in 2006, for the first time, I decided to use part of the money to start some small farming, cultivating maize and cassava. The results after just five months were tremendous! Now, our family no longer spends as much on buying maize, vegetables and cassava. Most of the funds that would have gone into buying food are now channeled into my petty trading. This has helped me to increase my working capital to GH 450.00 (US$314). My little investment in farming is making remarkable changes in my food expenses, which continue to go down!
In the next three to five years, I hope to expand the maize and cassava cultivation. I also want my four children to be educated at the Polytechnic School, at least. It’s a big task but I hope to achieve it.
Invest in small farmers like Alhakatu!
November 8, 2009