Papa Noa: Seeing is Believing
Region: West Africa
Competency: Agricultural Development
Papa Noa is a patriarch of sorts. He isn’t sure how old he is, but remembers when big trees were merely saplings. He is respected in Kpokede, the village where he was born and raised and has lived his whole life. For most of his adult life, Noa farmed corn using the techniques of his parents and their parents before them. Though it produced enough to survive, there were times when his family went hungry and there was never money for things like medicine or school fees. But when he learned about ILAD and the pineapple project, life for Noa and the village of Kpokede changed for the better.
“YES, THERE WAS A TIME AS A FARMER THAT I WORKED SO HARD, BUT I COULDN’T CARE FOR MY FAMILY AND MY CHILDREN. BUT WHEN I STARTED THE PINEAPPLE PROJECT, MY LIFE CHANGED. I CAN NOW TAKE CARE OF EVERY NEED OF MY FAMILY.”
Papa Noa heard about ILAD and cultivation of pineapples being done on the demonstration farm. He decided to learn how to grow pineapples in the hopes of being able to sell the produce for more money than he could earn from corn. At first, he tried to grow the pineapples without putting down weed paper, but he soon realized that following the system completely would generate a much larger crop. So, he took a loan from ILAD’s microfinance program to purchase all the materials he needed. The results exceeded his expectations and since that first crop, Noa has continued to expand his pineapple farm.
Everyone in Kpokede has seen his success and the results of the profits he has earned each year. Now Noa says the other people in the village “see the changes in my life, in my family and the benefits of growing pineapples and everyone wants to join me. If everyone here starts and understands the work well, it will bring good to the whole village of Kpokede.”
Thank you ILAD and Director Laté for showing us a new life.