Oct 11, 2021
Smallholder farming in Africa is a precarious existence. Low economies of scale, commodity price swings, out-of-date agronomic practices, and the effects of climate change conspire to trap farm families in a never-ending cycle of poverty. At the same time, Africa’s booming youth population is entering a saturated workforce without enough jobs to absorb them. In Nigeria, the continent’s most populous nation, that has led to a surge of gang violence and a wave of insurgencies over the last two decades.
Kola and Lola Masha, a Nigerian-born and US-educated couple, set out in 2012 to help mitigate the spread of both economic and physical insecurity. Their social enterprise, Babban Gona (“Great Farm” in the Hausa language), offers a rare model that not only makes farming lucrative and an attractive opportunity for Nigeria’s youth. It also has become a profitable and bankable business for commercial lenders. For the first time, they are committing capital to support smallholder agriculture at large scale—and in the process, potentially creating a pathway out of poverty for millions. Highlights of this episode include:
For the full transcript go to: https://ssir.org/podcasts/entry/from_plow_to_prosperity