Mountain Lion Ag (MLAg) is happy to report that our partnership with Micro-lenders KIVA (kiva.org) is delivering outstanding results for Sierra Leone’s hardest working women. Dozens of unemployed women, many of whom lost their trading businesses during the Ebola Crisis, are getting a second chance to work thanks to KIVA lenders. KIVA lenders enable these women to purchase their first round of stock from MLAg, who is providing free delivery, marketing support and a special discount on rice supplied. This powerful combination has benefited dozens of hard-working female traders who are now gainfully employed, sending their children to school and looking to the future with confidence. KIVA/MLAg supported traders gave KIVA fellow Victor Prevot a warm welcome during his recent visit to Makeni (pictured below). Victor and Mountain Lion Ag staff were also interviewed by the international news agency African Young Voices, who featured this inspiring partnership on their global news program Nov 21st at 7pm and 9pm GMT.
The 2017 results from MLAg’s research farm proved up our carbon-building methodology, which demonstrated a yield-per-acre increase of 37% compared to the typical method of low-input broadcast farming used by most smallholder farmers. While fewer in number per acre, plants growing with our Fukuoka-inspired farming method yielded 14-17 panicles per plant, with 65-75 seeds per head. This is a significant increase from the traditional method smallholders use, where plants will have a range of 6-9 panicles per plant with 40-50 seeds per head. While the carbon-building method requires more labour during planting and the initial month of growth, it also required 1/3rd less labour for weeding throughout the season when compared to the typical method used by smallholders. The results on our Carbon-building plot are pictured below: