Farm Africa is working with farming families in Kitui to help them build financial resilience to increasingly frequent droughts. By using drought-resilient and nutritious crops such as sorghum and green grams, and training farmers in post-harvest handling techniques and teaching them business skills, they can earn a steady income.
Because the conditions in these areas are quite harsh, it is vital that farmers are able to access sorghum and green gram seed varieties with higher yields and shorter maturation times. We make sure that farmers are able to access these varieties, which not only have a huge impact on production rates but are in high demand locally.
The farmers involved in the project are encouraged to work collectively in Farmers' Groups, which enables them to increase production volumes more easily and market their produce together.
Each Farmers' Group selects a 'champion farmer' who receives and shares training in improved farming techniques. The multiplier effect of this approach means that ultimately we can reach 7,000 farming households.
And by bringing the group together into larger networks, they can sell bulk quantities of crops that are attractive to traders. Farm Africa has also supported the establishment of household-level and community-based storage systems that mean farmers don't have to sell at the farm gate and can negotiate a higher price.
We are working with 7,000 farming households in Kitui. With training in production and marketing, this project will increase their household incomes by 20%, and help farmers develop business skills that will serve them well in the future.