Michael's Story

  From Subsistence Farming to Relative Prosperity 
Michael Duku Lodiong Loke had one acre of land, one wife who survived the war and eight children who had thus far survived starvation.  Three of his children hadn’t survived.

Their farm equipment was two old hoes and a machete.

Between the two rainy seasons in South Sudan, food becomes scarce and people often have to resort to wild plants and wild mangoes for their survival. When Harvest Sudan helped start the Savannah Farmers’ Cooperative (SFC), Michael’s family applied to their Out-Growers program.

SFC helps local farmers in the Out-Growers program by plowing their land for a nominal charge.  SFC will also the farmers’ excess harvest at fair market value.

In 2007, SFC helped Michael by ploughing a slightly enlarged acreage. Now, in 2012, his family is farming eight acres. To hoe that land by hand, even with the oldest children helping, would be impossible, especially back in 2007 when they were emaciated and weak.

In September 2012, we interviewed Michael Lodiong. He was beaming! We asked about the benefits of the help he had received.  He started counting down his fingers:

“We could never plough that much alone. We can now pay school fees and buy clothes for our children. No one in our family is hungry and our stomachs are bigger. I have bought goats, a bicycle and a mattress.  I grow much more grain than my family needs and I can sell the excess to the Savannah Farmers’ Cooperative.”

In 2011, he sold two-thirds of his produce to SFC and was able to buy things for the home. Not only does he has money to spend, he has also started a little shop in the local marketplace, selling matches, sugar, salt and a dozen other very basic commodities.

He had been told that Canadians had made this all possible through Harvest Sudan. He did not want his interview to finish before he had the last word, “My brother is still waiting for help to enlarge his fields, but you do not have enough tractors. I give you my BIG thanks, and ask God to bless you and keep you safe.”