Charles Gondi Mbwa is a groundnut farmer from Homa bay County who now owns a motorbike which he bought using money from his groundnut farming.
Mbwa had been planting groundnuts for more than five years, harvesting only 200 kg per acre on average, which he could sell at 200 per kilogramme. But things have so far changed since the Kenya Agricultural Productivity Project started working with farmers in the area five years ago.
Mbwa is one of the farmers who got trained by KAPP and the service provider on groundnut production and marketing. He belongs to Homa bay Peanut Farmers Co-operative, which started a value addition and packaging centre for the groundnuts. The co-operative now produces and packages ‘Kipingi’ peanut. He had joined the farmers’ co-operative to access trainings and to get links to markets.
Group marketing has improved the prices per kilogramme of groundnuts, from Sh200 per kg to Sh700 per kg, especially after value addition of processing and packaging. The processed peanut, produced by Homa bay Peanut Farmers Co-operative, is being sold under the trade name ‘Kipingi’.
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Farmers’ adoption of improved agronomical practices, learnt from the trainings, has also led to increased productivity of groundnuts, from 300 kg to 500 kg per acre.
“After incorporating the agronomic practices I learnt during the trainings, I harvested 800 kg per acre of groundnuts.I prefers to take my produce for value addition and packaging. This is because I could sell the ‘Kipingi’ peanut at Sh700,” said Mbwa.
From the venture he now earns roughly Sh560,000 per season.
From his earnings, he has bought processing machines at Sh350,000, which he uses to process produce from other farmers as well as his own.
The motorbike which he bought at Sh102,000 helps him to supervise the processor machines since they are located in different locations. He has purchased four oxen at Sh30,000 each and an oxen plough at Sh25,000, which he uses to plough his land in time. He also uses part of the money to pay school fees for his children. These positive results have given Mbwa bigger plans: To lease land and venture into large groundnut farming.
According to the 2018 Economic Survey Report, Kenya produced an average of 13,000 metric tonnes of groundnuts in 2017.