“I am here, under a mango tree. I have school children milling around curious about what I am doing.”
This was how John Dada of Fantsuam Foundation, in rural Nigeria painted the picture for us as he came online for our usual UK-Nigeria online meeting. These meetings date back to 2008 and are held weekly and last an hour and currently we are using Skype, but we type rather than use the video due to John’s bandwidth restrictions and also the bonus is we have an archived typed record of the meeting!
John then went on to share with us the latest news from Fantsuam and here are some of the issues mentioned:
- "Greetings from Kafanchan. It’s been a week of too many deaths, so we have been attending funerals. The deaths were largely due to inability to pay hospital bills or poor quality service in the hospitals"
- "We have been selected to work with a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation consultant, to develop our next 5-Year Strategic Plan. The process is supposed to last about 24 months of consultations and trainings."
- "Fantsuam is also engaged with 4 other Farmers Cooperatives for the Nigerian Government Rice Intervention Project
We had expected to locate the project at Attachab, but the area of land there did not meet the size requirement of the funders. However, we have an alternative land. I will be attending a meeting of the consortium after today’s DMC. We can see that the Fast Tractor will have its own share of work this year.
The rice project is our initial attempts to explore internal sources of funding.
They need 10 Ha of land, and Attachab is only 6Ha.
The advantages of the new site is the bigger land size, and the possibility of having access to more land, should we need it.
It is about same distance as Attachab.
Attachab has the advantage of a year-round stream as its border, along with a solar powered borehole. The new farm at Ambam also has a solar powered borehole and currently hosts our newly created grazing reserve.
We started acquiring this other land in small bits as folks who had urgent needs for cash came to ask if we would buy their land. We started making the purchases about 8 years ago.
The Attachab land has the clause that the original owners may need the land again sometime, while the Ambam land is an outright purchase with ownership transferred to us"
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Changemaker: John Dada Information Agent: Nikki Fishman