There are very few joys in life that surpass coming face to face with people that have been impacted by your work, especially if most of your work revolves around a computer screen.
As a result of the partnerships we have built over the years, Amana Market has undertaken various projects that have resulted in high engagements with female farmers and traders. During these projects one major obstacle we have faced is how much more expensive it is to onboard women than it is for men. However the major upside is that getting the buy-in of one woman within a community has widespread impact.
Last month, as part of a series of field interviews we encountered Amina Salmanu, a farmer from Bunkure in Kano State Nigeria. Amina was such a joy to speak with, her smile was welcoming and her excitement was infectious. While she spoke about the obstacles she had faced as a farmer within her community, she explained to us that the use of technology had lessened some of her burden. She narrated to us her initial difficulty with adapting to technology and how she had enlisted the help of her son. Amina’s son is in his early twenties and has been helping her farm since completing secondary school, she had hoped that the opportunity for him to attend a university would present itself but the limited income she got from selling her farm produce would not be able to sustain her household as well as provide for her eldest son to attend a university.
One attending one of our training sessions hosted by our network officer in Kano, Amina saw the potential value she and her family could gain if she was able to learn how to use Amana Market to sell her goods. She tried her best to follow during the training but she admitted that several things went over her head. At the end of the session she waited patiently for a chance to talk to the network officer so she could ask if she could bring her son to the network officer at a later date for her to explain the process to her son because she believed that her son would be in a better position to understand everything that was said during the training.
About a week later, during her trip to the market to sell off her goods, Amina brought her son to our demo location in Danwanu market to speak to the Network officer. Much to Amina’s delight, her son was able to fully understand the process of selling on Amana Market and was even able to list her sesame seed on the platform for sale and thus began Amina’s journey with Amana Market.
In the 3 months since Amina began using Amana Market, she found 3 regular buyers for her sesame seeds and her son is now an Amana Market Supply Agent helping several farmers within their community sell on Amana Market.
At the end of her interview she told us that she was beginning to hope again and she should see a future where her children would not be limited and had a chance to attend a university.