In March we talked to John Ibrahim about his experience as a Seed Change farmer. Joining our program in November 2014, John completed our eight-month farmer training program and received seedlings from our nursery, which are now a few months shy of three years old. When we last spoke to him he talked about overcoming community doubts about “risky” new trees and stepping into his new role as a leader for his community.
Our Community Development Assistant, Yotham Damas, caught up with John last month for a one-on-one on-farm
visit. Over the past year the growth of his trees has taken off at a rate he has never witness before from local trees. John says he no longer has to field questions from doubters – all he has to do is show his neighbours his farm. After two years on his farm (three years of growth in total – the trees spend one year in our nursery) his trees are beginning to display male flowers, which are a harbinger for female flowers and with them the fruits that are pressed to make palm oil.
John has never seen flowers on palm trees this early before. He talked to Yotham about what he plans to do when the fruits start growing and the palm oil starts flowing. John plans to buy tin sheets to replace his leaky thatched roof of his house and send his children to school. We will be checking with John Ibrahim in another six months – so watch this blog for more updates.