I am Thomas Koech, 42 year old man married with 6 children -4 boys and 3 girls. I am a member of Kapterit-Kapterit farmer group. The group is affiliated to Kamoi community based organization (CBO), a member of Marakwet Highland Farmers Association (MHFA). My land size is 4 acres.
Situation before joining the group
Before I joined the group in 2010, I was just a farmer and doing my work the conventional way. I didn’t know that one can learn good things in a group setup. When I came across one of the officers from Vi agro forestry, I decided to join the group. They were training farmers on the benefits of incorporating sustainable land management practices (SALMs) in agriculture. After the trainings, I adopted some of the SALMs. Some of the SALM practices I have implemented in my farm include intercropping, relay cropping, terracing, use of cover crops, alley cropping.
As I continued to gain knowledge, I encouraged other farmers who were members of the group on the benefits adopting SALMs and they were very positive about it and we all started engaging in the project. Some of common activities did together include raising seedlings in our home nursery and a group nursery where we specialized in long-term agroforestry trees. The SALMs practices were done through an affiliate group called cheplopchot farmer group.
The trainings have transformed my life and the entire family. I have moved from farming in the conventional ways to farming using the modern technologies.
In the beginning of the season, I planted maize on 2.5 acres of my land and intercropped it with normal beans. In July, I harvested the normal beans and planted climbing beans on 1 acre of the land, 7,000 heads of cabbage, Kales, Tomatoes and Snow peas on the remaining parcel of land. I planted the cabbages, tomatoes and kales on September when the maize had tussled. I planted the snow peas after staking
The benefits I have derived from the enterprises id as follows,
|Tea||6000 KGs||210,000||This includes bonus received|
|Maize||3240 KGs||82800||The price is calculated based on NCPP annual pricing and expected farm yield|
|Tomatoes||3 trays per week||30,000||I sell at 2500 per tray and I expect to sell for a month|
|Kales||7 bags per 3 weeks||22,050||The sell price is 15 shilling per kg of Kales|
|Normal beans||4.5 bags||36,000||Beans are sold in 2 kg tins(korokoro) at 200 shilling each|
|Climbing beans||8 bags||64,000||Beans are sold in 2 kg tins(korokoro) at 200 shilling each|
|Dairy (milk)||5 litres||42,000||I sells milk for one cow and the remaining is used for home consumption|
|Honey||100 kgs||28800||I have 5 modern bee hives but 2 are colonized|
I also do tree planting. I have many trees in my farm and also I possess a woodlot. This is to conservation and improving agricultural productivity. However before this, my family used to cut down trees for firewood, but now the family manages existing trees by pruning and storing for firewood. This is after going through capacity building in environmental conservation, SALMs practices and agroforestry techniques.
The benefits of adopting the activities trained Marakwet Highlands – increased productivity, improved income and improved resilience to the effects of climate change has helped my household in a big way. I can now comfortably pay school fees for my children, do expansion of my farm, lease other farms, engage in other farming activities and offset other household expenses.