Isatu Dumbuya was born some 70 years ago at Kathakare community, Magbema Chiefdom in Kambia District. She is a rice farmer who lives with her two children and three grandchildren.
Unfortunately, she did not have the opportunity like many of her kinds to access formal education, but this did not dampen young Isatu’s spirit of moving on by accepting some of the good things life has to offer.
As she explained to Awoko in front of her neatly constructed mud house with a clean environment, the 70 year old female farmer said she started farming at an early age, when she would follow her parents to the farm to help out with farming activities.
Isatu noted that as a young girl, she started off at the farm with weeding grass and other unwanted plants that grew and likely to choke the rice plant.
From weeding and fending off birds, she graduated to learn the art of ploughing and planting of our staple food (rice), and this she had carried on with onto adulthood.
After her parents passed away, Isatu added that she became the head of the household, as her other siblings had married and left the house.
Though times were rough, the female farmer stated that together with other community residents, carried on with their yearly rice farming activity, which after harvest, profit is used for upkeep of the family, including school expenses and the rest to buy seedlings for next planting season.
Questioned whether she had benefited from Government’s support through the Rural Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP), smiling, she shook her head and replied “no, I don’t belong to a group”, but she was happy that her community is a beneficiary of the RPSD Programme, and through that support she has been able to loan seedlings from other groups to enable her carry on with farm work.
Not counting on her age (70), Isatu Dumbuya is still strong and confessed that she does not only love what she is doing to stay alive, but added that rice cultivation is an art all by itself, and if the right tools and equipment are available, Sierra Leone will reduce the huge importation of rice and will eat what they grow.