Musa’s success story as one of the beneficiaries of Jielimishe economic empowerment support in Dagara.
I was born in molo district before migrating to Laikipia County, Dagara area where I currently live. This is after 2007 general election violence. I am a father of ten children and one wife, living in Dagara. Reflecting to the 2007 violence, it reminds me how I lost some of my relatives and how I travelled to Dagara-Laikipia several days and night using a donkey from Naivasha. It was really sad and painful.
Having escaped post-election violence in Naivasha in 2007, we have been squatters in Dagara until a year ago when the government resettled us and other 500 families. It was hard for me to feed my family and hence I depended on relief food and other well -wishers for survival. There were no schools in the area we were settled in. As IDPS we started our own school to enable our children continue with their education. The school has poor inadequate infrastructure; wooden walls with numerous openings exposing learners to cold and earthen floors as indicated below.
Fig: St Paul’s Dagara Primary School
The high poverty levels among the parents has been a huge contributor to the dismal improvement of infrastructure in the school. 80% of the parents are IDPs recently resettled by the government and earning an average income of KES 2500 per month. This makes it difficult for them to support improve school infrastructure and educate their children as the focus is to put food on the table
It was during this period of settlement when we met with Jielimishe GEC project who were basically sensitizing the community on importance of girl education and supporting drop out girls to re-enter school we shared our challenges as IDPs and they purposed to support us in agricultural farming. Initially maize and beans planting was a tradition amongst communities here. The place experiences a semi-arid to arid climate thus presenting insufficient rains to support this kind of agriculture. Since Maize and Beans are not drought resistant they fail to survive the long spells of inadequate rain leading to dismal harvest. This ends up contributing to food insecurity in the area.
Jielimishe GEC Project enrolled us into their economic empowerment intervention and trained us on entrepreneurship, farming as a business, group dynamics, Animal husbandry, record keeping and SACCO formation. The training was really eye opening for me as a farmer in the area of agribusiness. I started poultry farming as a business and it has in deed helped me support my three children in secondary school. My projected income per three months out of 200 chicken is KES 80,000 which helps me educate my children and provide them with the basics. “Every month I make a profit of KES 6000 from chicken selling and with integration of crop and animal farming am able to feed my family and support their education”
The Project trained us on sunflower farming, a drought resistant crop that survives climates with inadequate rain.
Through this training I was able to plant sunflower for the first and drop maize which had yielded so little in previous years. The project supported us with seeds and fertilizers as we ventured into this kind of farming first done in our area by us. The team provided ongoing supportive supervision empowering us in areas of pests and diseases management. I now see myself a competent sunflower farmers through this continued support. Despite sporadic and unreliable rains am certain that I will get a good harvest out of my sunflower. In this quarter acre piece am sure of KES 6,000 profit. Jielimishe GEC aims at increasing our incomes to KES 10,000 per month. The good thing about our sunflower farming is that we do not have to worry about the Market because Jielimishe sorted this out with Bidco. We are happy farmers since we have been enhanced to engage in contract farming. Our worry now is production since the market is readily available.
Fig: Musa explaining how sunflower has been and will continue to benefit them as Dagara Farmers.
Even with most other crops drying due to scanty rains ,the sunflower farmers in Dagara can afford a smile knowing that from now onwards there life shall be different due to contract farming as a courtesy of Jielimishe GEC.