From Plow to Prosperity


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Player FM과 저희 커뮤니티의 Jonathan Levine and Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR), Jonathan Levine, and Stanford Social Innovation Review 콘텐츠는 모두 원 저작자에게 속하며 Player FM이 아닌 작가가 저작권을 갖습니다. 오디오는 해당 서버에서 직접 스트리밍 됩니다. 구독 버튼을 눌러 Player FM에서 업데이트 현황을 확인하세요. 혹은 다른 팟캐스트 앱에서 URL을 불러오세요.

Smallholder farming in Africa is a precarious existence. Low economies of scale, commodity price swings, out-of-date agronomic practices, and the effects of climate change conspire to trap farm families in a never-ending cycle of poverty. At the same time, Africa’s booming youth population is entering a saturated workforce without enough jobs to absorb them. In Nigeria, the continent’s most populous nation, that has led to a surge of gang violence and a wave of insurgencies over the last two decades.

Kola and Lola Masha, a Nigerian-born and US-educated couple, set out in 2012 to help mitigate the spread of both economic and physical insecurity. Their social enterprise, Babban Gona (“Great Farm” in the Hausa language), offers a rare model that not only makes farming lucrative and an attractive opportunity for Nigeria’s youth. It also has become a profitable and bankable business for commercial lenders. For the first time, they are committing capital to support smallholder agriculture at large scale—and in the process, potentially creating a pathway out of poverty for millions. Highlights of this episode include:

  • why smallholder farming is central to the poverty problem in Africa (3:42)
  • the wave of violence in Nigeria fueled largely by unemployed youth (7:21)
  • the Mashas’ rigorous process to identify agriculture as a job-creation engine (9:44)
  • Trust Groups, or mini-cooperatives, and other core elements of the Babban Gona model (14:22)
  • the impact on the lives of farm families (25:39)
  • how Babban Gona is raising capital to super-scale the model (32:36)
  • and how it mitigates climate change and other risks (39:39).

For the full transcript go to:

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