My village consists of approximately 3,500 people. The village is composed of people from the Hausa, Tuareg and Fulani ethnic groups. Most villagers work as subsistence farmers or animal herders.
Millet is the staple food of the villagers. Each day, breakfast and lunch consists of hura, a drink made of millet and milk. Dinner consists of a millet paste, generally served with a sauce made from leaves or okra. Only on special occasions do the community members eat rice or pasta, as it is very expensive.
If a family runs out of millet from last year’s harvest, they often cannot afford to buy enough grain because prices rise as the crops stored from the previous year's harvest decrease. Millet is generally harvested in October, and by April, many community members begin to limit their millet consumption. During hunger season, many people do not receive adequate nutrition; consequently sickness and death become more widespread.
The implementation of a grain bank will increase food security by making millet available and affordable year round. The community members have already constructed a store room. Millet will be bought after this year’s harvest (October 2009), and then stored until hunger season begins (April-May 2010). Then, when grain is very expensive, the women will sell grain lower than current market price, but higher than harvest season price. With the profit made, the women plan to increase the stock of the grain bank in following years.