Thursday, January 25, 2018

Ripples Farms is LIVE!

Picture this: 52,5% of the farming population in Nigeria is female (source: Food and Agricultural
Organization of the United Nations). These women have no access to owning land for farming
purposes. Apart from that, most of the farming in Nigeria is subsistence farming; farming where
the emphasis is placed on growing enough food for survival (source: NOI-Polls). This usually
means that not enough products are generated for trade. A family is left with no other resources
than what is grown on the land, which increases the risk of starvation in the non raining season.
Now add high deforestation (Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations), impending
population growth (source: the Guardian, 11 January 2016) and rural poverty - 52.8% of the
Nigeria’s rural population lives under the poverty line (source: Knoema) - to this mix of factors. This
is the reality of families living in rural communities in Nigeria. We are left to wonder how they would
ever be able to feed themselves.

To tackle this problem, Ripples has devised its newest Women’s Enterprise Programme: Ripples
Farms. Together with our valuable partners, we will transform 250 acres of farming land, donated by
the community of Ogidi in Kogi state Nigeria, into a farming business incubator, where 2000 women
and 1000 youth will be trained on eco-friendly sustainable farming and livestock rearing practices. As
the women and youth produce different kinds of nutritious foods, such as beans, spinach and milk,
they will be able to export to different kind of markets, increasing their opportunities to generate an
income. In this way women will be able to feed their children and generate an extra source of income
for the family.

Ripples Farms is our biggest project so far; generating a tremendous impact for a vast number of
people. Such a project is only realized with the help of our beneficiaries, who are the start of all that
we do. We have been very lucky to find valuable partners in the Ogidi youth. 73% of the population in
Ijumu state, the area in which Ogidi is located, is under 30 years old (according to 2011 national
census). With their help we were able to select Ripples Farms’ first candidates. They will help us
develop and tailor our project to suit their experiences, challenges and knowledge.  

Ripples has established a Nursery, where it runs its trials. These acres of land will help us test and
tailor our eco-friendly and sustainable farming methods to suit the Ogidi soil and weather. The
nursery also includes a small patch of grassland, where we will accommodate the first herd of cows
and goats that will also provide income generating activities to our participants. With the help of our
donors, two cows and one goat have already been purchased, who now call this patch of land their
home. With everyone’s help this herd will grow to include enough livestock for our participants.

What impact  do you think Ripples Farm will have on our women and youths? Let us know what you
Ripples Foundation Web Developer

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