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Growing sustainability - and mung beans - in Senegal

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Enclosed in the tiny bean is not only the fiber and protein that children in Senegal need; inside this mung bean is the story of harnessing power of the research, Extension, and education efforts of a global land-grant university. It is a story about the impacts of partnerships with groups like the USDA, USAID, and Counterpart International.

 It is a story of how agriculture can change the world. 

It is a story that only Virginia Tech can tell.

So we started introducing mung beans in 2012, with small villages as a crop to diversify cropping systems and also the dietary need of the Senegalese people and since then it has taken off. Initially, we wanted to know is it really adapted to this environment? Because mung bean is Asian and mostly an Asia crop. But we quickly found out that it can grow and they produce it very well. The question was that what they eat it? Yes, we know that too. Then we wanted to introduce a few recipes to have them actually make mung bean in so many different ways. The last six months or a year or so that we have been introducing mung bean recipes, ideas basically where they can use the local spices and the local herbs to give them some ideas. And so, we go to the market and we buy the ingredients with Counterpart International facilitators or the director of the program and then take them to the villages and we cook with them and prepared all the food with them. It is a Virginia Tech project. I am Virginia Tech. What I am doing here is I'm implementing a land-grant mission through mung beans. My name is Amadou Saydou Sow. I was born in 1956 in Thiewle. The village of Thiewle in the area of Guy and Pendow, Department of Podor, Senegal. Mung bean first all have very very short cycle. Just after two months, you harvest your mung bean. And also the remark is that when you put mung bean in the meals, children are more strong. And always in the school canteen. We prepare mung bean...that's why Children are never absent in the course. They always come to the school because they know they will eat mung bean. I'm very happy that today they see the products are going to the other villages. Because if it depends on me only, each school in Senegal, will produce mung bean for children because mung bean increase the intelligence of children and maintain good health for children. I can't speak with mentioning Ozzie because it is a chain. USDA founded project And Counterpart came with VT, and VT sent Ozzie for the program. So if they say "thanks" to Ozzie, this "thanks" is also for VT, USDA. And the other companies. Why they thank Ozzie is because she's very special. We know that one day the project will end and we're doing our best to...if this this day Arrive, you will find us strong. And we are open to help all the other schools. To reach mung bean seeds. And we'll work with them to help them to have what we have on mung beans. Thank you very much.