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Five years ago Baboua Thiombiano struggled to keep his farm afloat. Now he helps his fellow farmers raise crops and livestock.

In Burkina Faso, drought-resistant seeds and livestock are keys to fighting poverty

Once considered poor, Baboua is now a success story

“I was poor and now I am not,” says Baboua Thiombiano, a 45-year-old father who lives and farms in a poor and arid region of Burkina Faso in West Africa.

It's a simple statement, but just five years ago, Baboua could not have made it.

Ever-shortening rainy seasons stunted crop production, limited his ability to keep and care for livestock, and left him struggling to feed his family. He was, in his own words, “a poor man fighting poverty.”

 

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Life-changing solutions to life-threatening challenges 

Thanks to your generosity, Baboua’s small farm is now thriving. There are two dozen goats, 30 pigs, and 10 head of cattle and sheep grazing among bountiful fields of maize, sorghum and cow peas.  

Baboua is one of more than 104,000 people you’re reaching in West Africa with life-changing solutions to life-threatening challenges.

But how do you get around drought and lack of water? With smart agricultural solutions! And that's just what you provided to Baboua's community.

Families receive high-quality seeds that require less growing time. Incredibly, the maize, sorghum and cow peas Baboua planted took only about two months to reach maturity. They usually take much longer and, when rainfall is insufficient, sometimes his crops don't come in at all. Even with droughts, he was able to harvest fully-grown crops.

 

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Four-legged income streams

You’re also providing family with valuable livestock, along with the support and training they need to care for the animals. Baboua and his wife, Deba Tankoano, received three goats. Baboua and Deba were able to grow a herd — and additional income — quickly. All three goats produced twins, and the couple sold four of the kids. They used the money they made to purchase sheep, pigs and launch a small cooking oil business.

Livestock are a valuable source of income. For example, a piglet costs about $8 in Burkina Faso, and when sold at maturity, can be sold for six times that.  

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"I would not be here without the help I received."

Baboua is recognized across his community for both his success and his commitment to improving his farm. He says he’s excited to share his newfound knowledge with his neighbors. He’s now a certified village extension agent, which means he has the expertise to instruct his neighbors on improved farming techniques, distribute seeds and vaccinate the livestock.

“I would not be here without the help I received,” Baboua says. “Others should have that opportunity too.”

Thank you for making this amazing transformation possible. Your partnership is so powerful.

Photos by Jake Lyell for Lutheran World Relief

CREATED BY
Gary Fields, Jan 3, 2019 email