Farmers sow seeds of hope

From Global development | The Guardian Wed Nov 28 2012, 00:01:28

Poor soil, diseases and extreme weather make agriculture difficult in Kenya, and finding a market for crops can also be a struggle. Sawsan Bastawy explains how smallholders are working together to save their livelihoods

Making a living is hard for many Kenyan farmers, but in the town of Nanyuki they are feeling the benefits of technology, increased co-operation and the extraordinary efforts of a few ordinary people.

When Solomon Muthee finishes addressing a meeting of the Double K self-help group for farmers, the room becomes quiet. All eyes are on the dusty church floor, silent and respectful. When Muthee, chairman of Double K, began his speech, wearing a dark suit and a warm smile despite the intense heat, his companions could easily anticipate the story he would tell. Like a broken record, his story is familiar to many farmers in Nanyuki, on the emerald green foothills of Mount Kenya in the central part of the country.

It often starts with poor soil conditions or bad seeds, devastating pests and diseases, and extreme weather. If the farmers produce a yield worth selling, issues might arise about transport, particularly where road conditions are poor. Lack of available markets or buyers on the other end is also problematic. The story ends with severe debts owed to banks, suppliers of necessities like fertilisers, and even to the schools that the village children must leave when their parents cannot pay the tuition fees.

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse


You might also be interested in the following news stories:

South Africa:   Durbanites March for Science (news)
GroundUp
24 April 2017

Youth, women encouraged to join science industry Nearly 200 scientists and science lovers took to the streets of Durban on Saturday. This was one of a series of marches across the globe aimed at ... [read more]

South Africa:   Police Minister Issues Warning to Former Police Unit Chief (news)
News24Wire
24 April 2017

A warrant of arrest will be issued against former Hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza if he does not return a state vehicle which he took when he reported for duty on Monday morning. Police Minister Fikile ... [read more]

Namibia:   MPs Demand 'Wellness Centre' at Parliament (news)
The Namibian
24 April 2017

LAWMAKERS continue demanding nice-to-have benefits such as a clinic at parliament, an ambulance, apartments near their workplace and top-class air flights. The lawmakers made these demands during the ... [read more]



blogAfrica is allAfrica.com's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!