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Marsabit pastoralists adopt rice farming for an alternative income

rice farmers in marsabit
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Farmer winnowing rice at Jarajara, Marsabit County. Many farmers in the county are now adopting rice farming for food security and more income. Photo courtesy.

More than 50 pastoralists at Jarajara, Marsabit County have adopted rice farming and they are happy with the new venture which is earning them alternative cash boosting their income as opposed to depending solely on pastoralism which their traditional farming practice.

With the help of United States Agency for International Development (USAID), 25 farmers initially went for training at Mwea Irrigation Scheme.

The farmers currently have more than 65 acres under rice cultivation whereby very farmer owns at least an acre in the scheme.

“I get close to 10 bags in per acre of land which is sold for Sh5,500 and this has been earning me additional income as I do not rely only on livestock,” said Habiba Mohammed, a farmer at Jarajara.

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In addition, the farmers also get fodder for his livestock from the rice stalks after harvesting and threshing the grains.

This enables him to spend less on the animals feeds and besides sells the fodder for other livestock keepers for more cash.   

“I’m enjoying more profits because I also get to make hay from the rice stalks and sell at Sh300 a bale,” says, mother of six.

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