Teyel's Millet Mill


By Fatima Boiro
Through the program Trees & Life, we have installed a millet mill that grinds millet much faster. This mill is very important because it allows us to spend more time in the fields tending to crops. We have created a group of women who manage the mill. The machine requires two mill operators at a time because the work is pretty hard. We must maintain the motor and replace the belts when they break. At the moment, one of the two belts is broken causing the mill to be less efficient, but it is still much better than crushing the millet by hand. The group of women in Teyel opened a bank account to hold the money and to pay the bills. We charge 100 francs CFA to grind 4kg of millet. From the 100 francs, 30 go to pay the mill operators and the rest is to maintain the machine and to help us get through the lean periods when grain stores are low and the crops are not ready for harvest. If a woman cannot pay the 100 franc fee, we ask her to leave us 1kg of her millet that we can sell at the market for 175 francs. This way she can still grind her millet with the mill, even if she has no money.