Siaya county in the Republic of Kenya is among the regions where the positive impact of ACC- LVB has been greatly felt.
Once sleepy villages in Rarieda constituency a few kilometers from Bondo town are now buzzing with activities courtesy of rigorous training of modern farming methods provided to them by the ACC-LVB project.
Communities in this semi-arid area which is predominantly known for maize farming are now smiling to the bank following bumper harvest from improved soya beans variety that was provided to them by the project.
To them, the training they received from the project was a gamer changer that pulled them out from the shackles of poverty.
Emily Odera Chairperson of West, East Central and South Uyoma (WECESO) CBO is among the key beneficiaries of the scheme.
Her faces radiate with joy as she narrates the positive impact the project has contributed to her.
Ms. Odera’s story ignites hope in dozens of farmers across the region who had lost hope in farming.
Ms. Odera revealed that the group has had immense benefits since they ventured into soya beans farming.
She says, “We have started seeing the benefits of this new crop, the income we are getting from soya is almost double the one we used to get from maize farming, and we have realized it also has ready market”.
She adds. “I remember one client paid me an upfront of KES 50,000 even before I harvested my soya, and I was very happy.”
So far, they have harvested and sold 50 bags of Soya Beans at KES 7,000 (USD 48) per bag and pocketed total sales to KES 350,000 (USD 2381).
Ms. Odera says despite the huge income they still expect more since they are still harvesting the produce.
Happy beneficiary preparing her harvested soya bean.
Jane Atali another beneficiary from WECESO says “From the sales of the soya beans we are now able to take our children to school and truly our lives have changed for the better, we thank the project for also training us on producing our own soya seed, this will enable continuity and sustainability of the project.”
The improved soya beans variety is a hardy crop that is draught tolerant and flood resistant.
It also improves the soil quality by fixing nitrogen thus reducing soil salinity while as well as acting as a cover crop that reduces soil erosion.
Additionally, the project has also trained the community on sustainable land management practices where farmers from the group were trained on best soil conservation practices like construction of on farm terraces to improve water retention in the soil and to prevent soil erosion of the top fertile soil from the farms.
“The terraces have really helped us. Our farms were flooded with water during the rainy season and destroyed our crops. I had to abandon my farm because it wasn’t productive but thanks to the project I my crops are now doing very well because of the terraces” Testified Patrick Otiende Secretary WECESO CBO.