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The FarmQuest Project: Mamadou Diarra

Growing corn in the Malian village of Ballan

Mamadou Diarrra originally left home to find success off the farm. Now that he has earned some money and gained some off-farm experience, Diarra has returned to help his family.

For the Daba Kamalen project, Diarra has been given a one-hectare field from his father to grow corn for seed for the market. Government controls every aspect of seed production and he needs to be certified before planting a single corn seed. Diarra will get fertilizer and equipment to aid in his success, but like any other producer, he relies heavily on the weather. As a wind kicks up and soil and dust take to the air, will the weather provide him with enough rain to have a successful corn crop?

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Mamadou Diarra is a contestant in Farmquest, a “radio reality” series sponsored by Farm Radio International, a Canadian organization that works with African radio stations to deliver extension information to farmers. Each of the six contestants submitted a business plan for a farm operation, and each was featured in a series on Radio Fanaka. We’ll feature each over the next few weeks. The winner receives a cash prize to help start his or her new farm venture.

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