Today, as an agricultural entrepreneur, Mohamed Gbadamassi bet on agriculture to achieve his dream of becoming rich.

Our readers would like to know you.

Mohamed: My name is Gbadamassi Mohamed Taofik (GMT), from the 54th set of trainees at Songhai-Ouando. I completed the training and graduated as an agricultural entrepreneur.

Prior to Songhai training, what were you doing?

GMT: Before Songhai, I was a student. I studied Law at the University of Benin. It was in the 2nd year that I left my Law studies for agriculture. I then joined Songhai.

Why this choice?

GMT: As a kid, I did not like farming because I grew up in town and for me it was a peasant work, a work for the poor. As every time I travel to the village, I observe that farmers are always poor, they are the ones always complaining. So for me, it was a work for the poor while I want to be rich.

But, growing up with time, I was studying and I understood things differently. I was member of an association, ACEEMUB (Cultural Association of Students Muslims of Benin). I was the local representative. The association organized an outing that will help us discover and learn things that we did not know. Songhai was one of the sites we targeted; and that is how we made the visit to Songhai. It is then that I discovered what agriculture was in reality. I was impressed and I began to develop interest for agriculture. But I was still in high school.

So later I entered the university where, already in the first year, we were almost two thousand (2000) students. I had always thought a lot about my life, and what I would do after my university education. And given the large number of students, I wondered whether anything good could be achieved in such conditions. I remembered the visit to Songhai and I wanted to live that experience again. I then went to Songhai to make inquiries on training fees. I was then informed about the recruitment of a new set of trainees. I applied for the test and succeeded. That is how I began the training in agricultural entrepreneurship at Songhai.

Please share with us how you went through eighteen (18) months of training at Songhai.

GMT: First, I sincerely thank God, my parents, all those who supported me. I came to Songhai as a blank notebook; I had no knowledge of agriculture. I knew neither the hoe nor agriculture. But with good will and a little courage, I learned a lot about agriculture. These 18 months of training were really difficult because it was a new world for me; it was another way of life. As a student at the university, my problem was to attend lectures, go back home, sleep, and watch series (films).

At Songhai, it was not the case. At the very beginning, during the first three months, there was a first stage called discovery phase that really shook me. We worked very hard. Seriously! We were trained to be very dynamic on the field, something I had never experienced. So it was not easy at all at first. But I was willing.

I note that my parents did not agree with my choice. They could not imagine that I left my studies to go for an agricultural training. They thought I was going to stay in the village and therefore they strongly opposed my choice. I had to seriously insist. It was really a great dispute between my parents and me. I remembered all this and told myself that despite the initial difficulties of the training in Songhai, I could not afford to turn back. I had to show courage and prove at all costs to my parents that I was right, that I had made the right choice. It is what motivated me and allowed me to really stand and today I completed the training; I learned a lot about agriculture and especially Songhai farm.

And today, are your parents happy with you, with what you are becoming after this training?

You may read to the full interview by clicking this link : FROM LAW TO AGRICULTURE, THE BEAUTIFUL STORY OF A SONGHAI TRAINEE NAMED MOHAMED



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