Aduna is building a smallholder supply chain in Upper East Ghana, one of Africa’s most poverty-stricken regions, to empower women producers to harvest and process their baobab fruits. We are already working with 700 women from 13 communities who are benefiting from life-changing, sustainable income flows. Here is the story of just one of these women. Meet Kayaga Nayire:
Kayaga Nayire, Aduna Baobab Producer
Name: Kayaga Nayire
From: Chiana Abolo, Kassena-Nankana West District, Upper East Region, Ghana
Job: Baobab Producer
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD?
My husband and I live in the Chiana Abolo community in the Kassena-Nankana West District where there are lots of baobab fruits. I have a household of 12 including myself. My husband and I have six children – three girls and three boys. The older ones all go to high school, the middle ones go to primary and nursery school and we have a baby. We also have four other dependents who live with us who are my husband's nephews and niece.
WHAT WAS LIFE LIKE BEFORE YOU STARTED WORKING WITH ADUNA?
Before Aduna, I would buy groundnut, millet and beans from the market to sell to customers in our village. However, this did not earn me enough money for my family up keep, so I would also grow my own groundnut, rice and millet to sell with my husband, but we didn’t have enough money to invest in more. Life was very difficult. We struggled to get enough money to start our own business, to buy our children school items like school uniforms, pens, pencils and books, or get ingredients to prepare food for my family.
I used to earn GHS 250 (£43) per year which was very small but we tried as well as we could. I was always wondering how to get food for the family or where to get money to take care of my family’s health. We often had food shortages and couldn’t always eat three times daily. Sometimes we ate once a day.
Kayaga and her family
WHAT IS LIFE LIKE NOW YOU ARE PART OF THE ADUNA SUPPLY CHAIN?
I have been participating in the Aduna baobab supply chain in collaboration with ORGIIS and since joining have earned GHS 1,000 (£174) per year. I can now pay school fees, buy food for the family and get family health issues sorted, like registering for the Ghana national health insurance scheme.
I am now able to invest in seeds for farming, which means I can make an additional income through trading with groundnuts and beans.
Certain difficulties in life are now manageable and I can buy clothes for myself and my family, and drugs for medications. I don’t experience food shortages now – me and my family eat three times a day.
Before I wasn’t able to get money to run my own business or assist my husband in his farming activities, but working with Aduna has now changed my life in so many ways.