Struggling to produce enough food to feed their children and keep them in school, David, a pastor in the local church, sought out training from Farm Africa in growing drought-tolerant crops. So that when the rains failed, his family wouldn’t go hungry.
“Since we have been planting drought-tolerant crops we are able to get something, even if the rains are not good. Farm Africa has taught us how to maximise moisture in the soil, such as by digging trenches. We also now know to use manure for fertiliser.
When I was young I just farmed because that is what others did. Now I see it as a business from which we can make a profit.”
And in a semi-arid region like Kitui, it’s important that farmers diversify their incomes. David and Kavutha have been keeping chickens, which means they aren't so reliant on having a good harvest as they're also able to sell their chicks and eggs.
With their farming businesses thriving, David and Kavutha have rediscovered their love for the farm that they’ve worked hard on all their lives. David is feeling more confident about the future:
“We have used our extra income to pay for my children’s education. I have also invested the money into our farming and have bought quality seeds, fertilisers and pesticides, which will increase the yields and quality of our harvest.
"I encourage all my children to work hard and my prayer is that everyone has a good career, although I would advise them not to forget about farming because it has brought us something. Farming is in their blood, since I was born I have always been shamba - farming is part of my life and my family’s life. When we invest well in shamba, I don’t think there is anywhere else where we could earn such a good living.”