How KCDMS- USAID Funded Programme is Transforming Livelihoods
It is a common misconception in Kenya that one needs a big land in order to become profitable in the farming enterprise.
However, this notion has been dispelled by one farmer in Vihiga County, who is a beneficiary of the United States International Agency’ (USAID) Feed the Future funded Kenya Crops and Dairy Market System (KCDMS), which is changing the lives of ordinary Kenyans in the country.
Collins Jumba, 28, owns an eighth of an acre, but the returns that he makes from this tiny land are handsome for that size of farm.
Mr Jumba plants different types of vegetables on the piece of land, which not only gives him money to meet his daily needs but also provides much-needed nutrition to his family and the neighbourhood.
He mainly grows the highly sought-after traditional vegetables such as managu, saga, mito and nderema, with a ready market within his locality.
The young farmer makes Sh26,000 after every two months from the sale of vegetables at his farm, however small it may look.
“I harvest at least 12 bags of assorted vegetables from this farm that you are seeing here and I make Ksh26,000 worth of sales,” said Mr Jumba in an interview at his farm in Vihiga.
Mr Jumba is among the farmers who have benefitted from the agri-nutrition training by the Anglican Development Services (ADS), which has been funded by USAID through the KCDMS programme.
Agri-nutrition entails training the community using a food chart that contains 10 food groups aimed at sensitising the community at least to consume five of them in order to attain proper nutrition.
Mr Jumba is a ToT having been trained by ADS and he has used the knowledge that he acquired to reach out to other farmers and teach them how to grow vegetables to make an income out of it and also enhance their nutrition.
“Through ADS, I have been trained on agri-nutrition and I use that knowledge to impart to other youths, to lift the nutrition status of our community,” he said.
ADS through USAID funding has trained the farmer on good agronomic practices and proper land utilisation, and this is one of the reasons why he has been successful in his farming venture.
ADS western region has reached out to at least 15,000 farmers in Kakamega, Vihiga, Bungoma, Busia, Kisumu and Siaya Counties with a message on nutrition.
“Our main focus is to bring behavior change, western has a good climate for production but farmers mainly concentrate on maize, forgetting the agri-nutrition component that they can achieve by growing other crops such as vegetables in order to attain a balanced diet,” said Sam Nkoile, a coordinator of ADS western region.