Thomas Koech

How Rural Farmers Are Benefiting From Working With Marakwet Association

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.

CASE STUDY

IMPACTS/ RESULTS

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.

Impact

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,

EnterpriseQuantityIncomeRemarks
Tea6000 KGs210,000This includes bonus received
Maize3240 KGs82800The price is calculated based on NCPP annual pricing and expected farm yield
Tomatoes3 trays per week30,000I sell at 2500 per tray and I expect to sell for a month
Kales7 bags per 3 weeks22,050The sell price is 15 shilling per kg of Kales
Normal beans4.5 bags36,000Beans are sold in 2 kg tins(korokoro) at 200  shilling each
Climbing beans8 bags64,000Beans are sold in 2 kg tins(korokoro) at 200  shilling each
Dairy (milk)5 litres42,000I sells milk for one cow and the remaining is used for home consumption
Honey100 kgs28800I have 5  modern bee hives but 2 are colonized
Total515,650

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.

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