From Where I Stand: "Despite depressed rainfall in Kitui, my drought-tolerant crops have helped me educate my children."
Avia Munyao, 45 and mother of three, is a farmer from Mutomo ward in Kitui County. She is one of 16 members of the Kawelu farmers self-help group that has received training on climate smart agriculture to develop new techniques including conservation agriculture.
Despite the depressed rainfall in Kitui county I have thrived, and my land has been smiling, all because of the training I have been receiving through climate smart agriculture project.
Since the last rains, I planted drought-tolerant crops, like sorghum, on my farm. From one acre of sorghum, I harvested 15 bags. I sold one bag at KSH 70 [US$ 0.5] per kilogram as seeds to other farmers, the remaining 14 bags are in the aggregation stored to be sold to Kenya breweries.
I also planted six acres of green grams and harvested 65 bags. I sold all the green grams at KSH120 per kg [US$1], this gives approximate KSH 702,000 [US$ 5,850]. From the sale of the green grams I bought an additional 10 goats to add to my flock, I now have a 35 in total. The rest of the money being used to pay school fees for my three children, one in the university and two in college.
I recently dug pits in a quarter acre where I planted maize and I harvested one and a half bags. Zai pits conserve water better than traditional plating techniques. The other farmers in the neighborhood who planted conventionally got nothing. I also created a kitchen garden which, apart from providing nutritious vegetables for my family, creates income as I have also been selling to my neighbors. This can earn around KSH 100 [US$1] per day.
Through the leadership trainings done, I have become a local leader. I have been chosen as the chief deacon in my local church council, the chair for Kawelu farmers Self Help Group and Kawelu Community Based Organization.
Over 800 farmers in Kitui have been receiving training, like Avia, through the 'Women’s Economic Empowerment through Climate Smart Agriculture' project by UN Women Kenya and Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), supported by the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). In addition to climate smart farming, beneficiaries drawn from over 40 women self-help groups in Kitui are are trained on business management and leadership skills.