Residents in Mosop Sub County mostly rely on Maize as their key source of income. However over the years their fortunes in this enterprise has sharply gone down. The farming community has faced myriad of challenges including high soil PH, poor agronomic practices, huge post harvest losses, inefficient and poor marketing systems making it impossible for them to break even.
Rhodah Saurey never knew that she could cost effectively practice mixed farming on her two acre parcel of land. Saurey 61, is a maize farmer from Mosop, Nandi County. She has been farming maize, beans and vegetables for the better part of her life for home consumption and selling the surplus to the local market. Despite using hybrid seed varieties and sufficient fertilizer, Rhodah Saurey’s could not understand why her yields were decreasing at an alarming rate each season.
Saurey is a member of Lemook Kamasia CBO. In 2015, Lemook Kamasia CBO was one of the group that was profiled by CGA through the support of USAID-KAVES with an ultimate intention of building the capacity of the farmers to reduce production cost and increase profitability.
Various interventions were employed on the farmers of Mosop. One of the intervention that the project carried was soil testing. Saurey was one out of ten farmers whose farms were subjected to soil sampling and testing in which CGA collaborated with crop nuts. The results showed that her farm was acidic and recommended the use of less acidic fertilizer such as NPK 23.23.0 at 75kg/acre. In order to effectively and efficiently deal with weed menace, Saurey was trained on use of selective herbicides such as lumax that could adequately purge weeds. She was also sensitized on the importance of top dressing to boost the nutritional component of her maize farm.
“I was very happy to be lucky to get this practical and firsthand information from the CGA Officer in Nandi. I never knew that there was so much I wasn’t doing to help my situation”, said Saurey. “Apart from being taught on the production side, I was also sensitized on proper post harvest handling like timely harvesting, use of motorized shellers, sorting and grading, observing moisture levels and storage,” added Saurey.
Close to forty percent of the total farm produce is lost at the post harvest stage and it is important for farmers to practice good post harvest handling.
With the few changes in her farming practices, Saurey was able to produce 72 90kg bags the highest production she has ever witnessed in her farm, which translated to 36 90kg bags per acre in that season. “This is the highest production in my farm ever since I started Maize farming, looking forward for higher yields next season thank you for your unyielding support” She stated.
Her success and other members from her group gained them the opportunity to host a field day in which various stakeholders from the agricultural industry attended. From the field day they were able to be linked with various input companies to serve them. In addition, the CBO which normally aggregates their produce for collective marketing won a tender to supply World Food Program (WFP). World Food Programme is known for setting high standards on quality and the group met it thanks to CGA walking with the various groups in the region from production to marketing.
Saurey and other farmers from the region have also learnt that they cannot rely on just one enterprise as a source of income. The farmers have started to produce other high value cereals such as beans, horticultural crops such as potatoes and vegetables such as cabbages and kales.
CGA continues to replicate the same practices in the other 20 counties that we are active in. We intend to change the lives of farmers county by county. Kindly Contact us to know where you are so that we can work with you.