“Earlier, most of our children stopped schooling at primary level. Now, we have children going to universities in capital cities.”
In 2014, Talatu Idrissa and her neighbors in the village of Bunkure in Kano, Nigeria each received a five-kilogram pack of a new variety of groundnut seeds. Thanks to research done by CGIAR scientists at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), the groundnuts grown from these seeds are not only more nutritious but yield larger harvests with no extra resources.
Previous harvests yielded 13 bags of groundnuts; with this new variety of seeds, Talatu was able to produce 25 bags on the same hectare of farmland. Within five years, Talatu was leading a group of 25 women who collectively produce roughly 3.5 tons of groundnuts a year. This is especially meaningful in a country where inequality and discrimination keep essential resources out of the hands of women. Having a surplus to sell, the women then pooled their individual gains into a collective fund that allowed them to access a larger parcel of land and bulls for farming.
The women keep most of the groundnuts they grow on this shared plot to feed their families, but there is now enough to process into products like oil and cakes to sell at the market. Their earnings are deposited in a communal savings account where interest accrues. With this extra income, the women have been able to support one another through childbirth and advance their children’s education.
“Earlier, most of our children stopped schooling at primary level,” Talata says. “Now, we have children going to universities in capital cities.”
The benefits of CGIAR research are reaching well beyond the families of the women farming these groundnuts. The group has used the wealth they created using CGIAR-supported varietals to repair the doors and windows of the local school building and fix beds and provide supplies for the health center. Their investment has resulted in better social services, uplifting the whole community.
Learn more about making the most of high-yielding groundnuts in Nigeria.