Yezouma Coulibaly was born in 1985, in the West African state of Burkina Faso and joined the national army in 2003. In the army, he worked in human resources; however, his career came to a halt during a 2011 mutiny of which he was dismissed.
As reported by Lefo.net, the young army officer was distraught upon his sacking and decided to send his family back to the village as he planned on moving to Ivory Coast to search for a new job. He stated that he was ashamed to go back to the village as a dismissed soldier.
“When my wife and children arrived, my father and mother got worried. The question asked of my wife was ‘where is our son, your husband?’ It was then that my father called me to tell me not to go on an adventure in Côte d’Ivoire, to come back to him, my mother, my children and my wife and we are going to cultivate the land.” Coulibaly told Lefo.net.
According to him, the dad later sent him transport money to make his journey back to the village where he would later join his family and start an adventure in farming. In the village, Coulibaly narrated that the people looked at him quizzically and in order “to escape these looks, i brought my motorbike into a house and took a bicycle. I started to work in the fields and that’s what pays off today”.
The former soldier, Coulibaly, has a 30-hectare farm which is currently generating up to 37 tons of cereal per harvest. His profit margin per harvest is approximately 3, 362,000 CFA( USD6,300). In addition to crop farming, Coulibaly also rears farm animals and is also the owner of a small refreshment stall as part of his business entity.
Coulibaly said that farming has been good for and his family: “With what I have been producing since 2011, this is enough for the needs of my family and me,”. His long-term goal is to achieve food security in his native country of Burkina Faso, “I want, in the years to come, to satisfy my country in terms of production to fight against hunger”.
He appeals to other dismissed soldiers to take courage and find other new endeavors in life: “Yesterday, we were soldiers; today, delisted. Let us show the world that without the army we can make a success of our life. It must be a challenge for us. Land is man’s primary employer. Without shame, let’s go into it with courage,”
The former soldier calls on the government and other stakeholders to assist him further expand his farming business, “Today, what I am asking of the Burkinabè authorities, of the HCRUN… I am looking for support by tractor and motor pump, in order to be able to further increase my production,”