Judith Soton and her sister, Aude de Grâce, graduated from Songhai in 2013 and used family money and a loan from Songhai to start their farm near Porto Novo. Their story shows both the promise and challenges of putting their Songhai training to work.
They began with chickens for egg production and rabbits. After constructing animal enclosures and raising the animals, they are just now at the point where they can expect some revenue from these efforts. They also raise catfish in two small tarp-lined tanks on the front porch of their house. At this point they buy feed or make feed by hand because they do not yet own the equipment to mix and make feel pellets more efficiently.
Their father bought 1 hectare of land near to their home where they have begun crop cultivation. With revenue from eggs, rabbit, and fish production they can hire farm laborers and increase crop production. The promise of intensive farming is that revenue from one part of the enterprise can help to develop other forms of production. All of this takes time, which is one of the big challenges of putting their Songhai training to work.
Below: The Soton sisters, with our camera team, who interviewed them at their farm.