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Boluwatife Maybee, a 28-year-old woman from Yewa North, Ogun State, did not start farming because it was her lifelong dream. Instead, a serious health problem in 2018 made her take a hard look at her lifestyle choices, particularly her diet. Her kidneys were failing, and she knew she had to eat healthier. So she began farming in her backyard to grow the fresh, nutritious food she needed.

At first, Boluwatife’s farming was small, and she paid for it with her own money. But soon, she realized that she wanted to do more than just garden; she wanted to make her farm bigger. However, finding the money to grow her farm was tough, especially as a woman.

“It’s really hard to get financial help in farming if you’re a woman. People often don’t take us seriously.”

Boluwatife Maybee

The turning point in her agricultural journey arrived when she discovered the HortiNigeria program. Their letter of recommendation affirmed her dedication and legitimacy as a farmer. This critical support was instrumental in breaking down financial barriers.

This endorsement helped her obtain 500,000 naira (U.S. $379.00) from an investor. With this money, Boluwatife installed an irrigation system so that she and her workers no longer had to rely on rain or fetch water from long distances, saving them time to do other activities. Most importantly, this irrigation system allows her to grow crops year-round and have a constant supply for the market.

This positive change was good for Boluwatife’s health and wallet and made her farming more reliable. Her story shows how important support, such as HortiNigeria’s, can be and how it can help people change their lives. Boluwatife’s journey from a small garden to year-round farming shows that with some support and new ideas, challenges can be overcome, giving hope for a better future for everyone.

HortiNigeria (2021-2025) is implemented through a consortium led by IFDC that includes East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer (EWS-KT)Wageningen University and Research (WUR), and KIT Royal Tropical Institute and is funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Nigeria.

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