Farmers’ stories from D.R. Congo

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When farmers are empowered with knowledge on N2Africa technologies, this information can be disseminated to others. One of the strategies to disseminate research results of N2Africa at scale in South Kivu, Eastern DRC, has been the training of students of agriculture high schools in the N2Africa action sites. The trained students in turn train households in their villages. This article contains the stories of three farmers about how the learned about N2Africa’s technologies and the impact on their livelihoods.

Appoline Mapendo (lady on the right)

Appoline Mapendo
“I am married and mother of 13 kids. I am living in Cibinda localite Miti near Kahuzi Biega park, one of N2Africa project beneficiaries since 2014. I recieved seeds of cassava, seeds of maize and beans. We were deprived of new technologies because our place is very far and the roads not accessible. Our agronomic practices were very archaic. The N2Africa project brought to us new technologies, namely planting on line and a cassava-legumes intercropping system.

I am now expert in the technique of intercropping cassava, maize and beans with recommended spacing: either 1 m x 1 m or 2 m x 0.5 m. These crops are the most important in my village which is why we were very interested of these technologies. From less than an hectare, we obtained 400 kg of beans, 1 ton of cassava and 1 ton of maize. From my cassava harvested I obtained a 500 US dollar benefit and with this I bought a cow and four goats and presently that cow has given me one calf.”


Déogratias Bulonza

Déogratias Bulonza
“I am a 22-year-old bachelor student at Biosadec University in agriculture and a teacher of agriculture techniques at Mushiguri high school. I have been in contact with N2Africa since September 2015. We were not aware of the soyabean inoculation techniques before our contact with the technician of this project through our school, which is located in a research center Inera / Mulungu. We have also been trained on best agronomic practises by N2Africa/IITA through the Catholic Church. This included learning about planting soyabean in lines, inoculant application, ISFM techniques and so on. We also received training on value chains and soyabean and cassava processing. Since, I have decided to involve in agribusiness with some of my students. We started with a small plot but now we have reached 1 hectare and I’m hoping to cover up to 10 hectares in a few years and we are producing for the market.”


Josephine Nabandi

Josephine Nabandi M’Mironyi
“I am married and I have 11 children, I have a high school diploma in Mathematics & Physics. I live in Kajeje, a town on the edge of the Kahuzi-Biega National Park; I started working with the N2Africa project in 2010. The practiced technologies included bio-fortified climbing beans, growing climbing beans on the maize stalks after maize harvest, and the cultivation and processing of soyabean: the most important acquired technique was the use of inoculant which is called ‘atmospheric fertilizer’ by farmers).

Currently, I have a field of 2 ha. From a business perspective, my choice focused on soyabean, beans and maize. From my farm I harvest about 1 ton of beans and 700 to 800 kilos of soyabeans per season. In addition to N2Africa’s agricultural practices, we have learned to store our products and sell them when the market price is good. Agriculture has become a true business enterprise that allows me to meet my needs and has transformed my life. I am able to make my own seed stock for the following season. I improved and enriched the diet and the nutritional status of members of my household. I am also able to meet the current needs of my household (health care, clothing, school fees for children of primary school to university). In addition, I have greatly improved my house: from mud huts with thatched roofs to the modern house. I also bought a plot in town (Bukavu). My children who are staying and attending courses at the University will no longer be faced with rent problems.