Archive for November, 2013


The boys have nothing to do, but for girls it’s different. We have to look after the family, collecting firewood as before, but we have to walk further each day find any. This is what Miss Sarah had to say when asked about the role of boys and girls in the family.

Picture by Elcah

While our fathers farm for money, our mothers are the ones farming for food. Men are only concerned with the coffee, tea, sugarcane and other cash crops which earn them cash. But the women are usually left to cultivate food crops which are consumed by the family. Men are usually known to squander whatever money they get from the cash crops and so leaving women to be the sole caretakers of the family.

Looking at many women I know including my mother and I, am fully convinced empowering or educating a woman is indeed is indeed educating the whole community and educating a boy is educating an individual. For a multiplier effect, let’s focus on efforts on empowering the women of the world and the whole world will be saved.

American Government launches a 3.5 Billion project for small scale farmers in Kenya

Youth in agriculture is a campaign that is gaining momentum at an extremely fast rate. And as we encourage more youth to engage in farming – especially the actual tiling of land and cultivating crops, there is one problem being overlooked. The most vital resource for agriculture – land is in the hands of the older generation who are not willing to relinquish their rights over land to the youths. Access to land is the main drive for agriculture and lack of it is one of the major constraints – limiting the youths’ participation in Agriculture.

Land is an emotive subject not only in Kenya but also in many countries of the world. Most land is owned by the elderly and the youth can only access one through inheriting from their parents or buying. The former case takes place mostly when the old man passes on and for the latter; it is hard since land is very costly.  The situation is even worse for the women as in some communities; it is a taboo for a girl child to inherit a piece of land. So ladies cannot benefit from the only option available for accessing land without buying – disadvantaging them against their male counterparts.

As we advocate for youth in agriculture, it is imperative that we address the basic; the gender inequalities disadvantaging the girls over the boys and access to main resources for agriculture for the youth.

 

Minting money from fish

fishponds

Musyimi on a day out on his farm

Machakos County in Kenya is popularly known for its long spells of drought. I remember when we were in schools we used to make jokes about students from the county that rain was a tourist attraction to them. For a fact, some children about ten years have never seen rain in their lifetime. Given this, it would have been unthinkable for someone to imagine himself being a fish farmer but this is what the Musyimi did. Yes, Musyimi dreamt and he’s now a fish farmer in Machakos.    

Curious to find out how he is doing with fish farming in the land of water scarcity, I visited his farm to catch a glimpse of his fish pond. He explained to me that fish does not have to be in high rainfall areas. With technology, it can be done even in Machakos. This can be made possible by lining the fish pond’s floor with a polythene paper to prevent water from percolating into the ground.  

According to Musyimi, fish farming is demanding at its initial stages but after six months, the benefits are massive. On his two acre piece of land, he has four fish ponds which he manages full-time being his sole environment. In one harvesting season, he approximates his harvest to be worth 200,000 Kenya shillings per pond which is approximately 800,000 Kenya shillings. This calculated, it means in a year he makes 1600,000 shillings (16,000USD) from the ponds. Continue reading

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