One woman’s innovative farming practices and dedication to feeding her family have sparked a movement towards modern and cost-effective farm management in Matisi Village of Bungoma County.
By embracing crop rotation and constructing a homemade greenhouse, Susan Nyongesa has not only improved her livelihood but has also inspired thousands of farmers to adopt sustainable farming practices, addressing poverty and food insecurity in the region.
A Shift Towards Sustainable Farming
Innovative Approach to Crop Rotation
Facing financial difficulties due to the challenges in the sugarcane industry, Susan Nyongesa decided to implement crop rotation on her farm. She diversified her crops by intercropping sugarcane with vegetables like kales and tomatoes. This strategic approach allowed her to provide for her family’s needs while attracting other farmers to embrace sustainable farming practices.
The Impact of a Homemade Greenhouse
Utilizing the returns from her crop sales, Susan managed to establish a greenhouse on her farm. Within this controlled environment, she cultivated coriander, tomatoes, spinach, and cucumbers. Susan’s initiative not only ensured a balanced diet for her village but also inspired self-reliance among community members, leading to increased adoption of similar farming methods.
Addressing Poverty and Market Challenges
Despite the lack of market access and information in the area, success stories have emerged from Matisi, showcasing the potential of alternative crops to alleviate poverty. Susan highlights the need for diversification and targeting unexploited markets. Her own fishpond, stocked with over 500 fish, provides her family with an additional source of nutrition and income. By sharing her knowledge, she encourages others to overcome obstacles and break free from dependency.
Empowering Through Livestock and Education
In addition to her crops, Susan keeps three dairy cows, enabling her to generate income for her children’s education by selling milk to locals. She also engages in poultry farming, collecting and selling approximately 30 eggs daily. By incorporating livestock into her farming practices, Susan exemplifies the importance of a diversified approach.
Championing Change and Overcoming Challenges
Susan’s efforts extend beyond her own farm. She has shared her innovative techniques with over 1,000 people, with 20 individuals in Bungoma County already practicing sustainable farming.
However, limited funding hampers her civic education programs aimed at changing deep-rooted cultural norms. Susan advocates for increased awareness and support from government authorities to facilitate the adoption of new technologies and foster sustainable farming practices within communities.