KENYA / SMALL FARMERS

15-May-2018 00:03:49
In five semi-arid counties of Kenya, FAO is supporting 31,300 smallholder farmers to increase the yield of high-value grain like sorghum and to market their produce as group. FAO
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STORY: KENYA / SMALL FARMERS
TRT: 3:49
SOURCE: FAO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: FEBRUARY 2018, MERU AND THARAKA NITHI COUNTIES, KENYA
SHOTLIST
1. Close up, sorghum head
2. Various shots, farmers harvesting sorghum
3. Various shots, farmer carrying sorghum on a basket
4. Various of farmers harvesting sorghum
5. Various of farmers threshing sorghum using a motorized machine
6. SOUNDBITE English) Purity Njeru, Farmer and Group Coordinator:
“It’s very important to be member of the group because when we are in the group we aggregate at the same place. We also buy the farm inputs at a lower price. We also meet other partners like FAO, which came to us and taught us about the modern technologies, which reduce the labor for a farmer. Thus making the production cost to be very low for the farmer. They also brought us things like the planting machine which can do three things at a time; plant, plough and put the fertilizer at the same time.”
7. Various shots, farmer doing transaction with a buyer
8. Various shots, an officer from the Ministry of Agriculture teaching farmers on how to use a grain moisture meter
9. Various shots, woman on the farm using a planting and fertilizing machine
10. Various shots, buyers with a women’s group at a collection center
11. Various shots, signed contract
12. SOUNDBITE English) Purity Njeru, Farmer and Group Coordinator:
“Most of us have achieved a lot through the financiers because we get loans from the banks. Many women have opened bank accounts; those had no bank accounts before. Currently the CBO [Community Based Organization] has about 1.4 Million [14,000 USD] from the Equity Bank, which is distributed to the smaller groups and back to the individual.”
13. Wide shot, Gakiuma Community Based Organization Collection Center
14. Various shots, farmers weighing their produce
15. SOUNDBITE English) Purity Njeru, Farmer and Group Coordinator:
“Some have bought a cow for milk, others have got chicken. So that you can sustain your family as you carry on.”
16. Various shots, market
17. Various shots, man milking a cow
18. Various shots, chickens
19. Various shots, laborers loading sorghum into a lorry
20. Wide shot, lorry drives away
STORYLINE
In five semi-arid counties of Kenya, FAO is supporting 31,300 smallholder farmers to increase the yield of high-value grain like sorghum and to market their produce as group.

Training in good agricultural practices and conservation agriculture has increased productivity - from 100 kg of sorghum per acre to over 1 ton.

Noticeable benefits have been obtained by switching cultivation from maize to a more drought resistant crop such as sorghum.

Purity Njeru, farmer and group coordinator, has seen firsthand how this program has improved lives and livelihoods.

SOUNDBITE English) Purity Njeru, Farmer and Group Coordinator:
“It’s very important to be member of the group because when we are in the group we aggregate at the same place. We also buy the farm inputs at a lower price. We also meet other partners like FAO, which came to us and taught us about the modern technologies, which reduce the labor for a farmer. Thus making the production cost to be very low for the farmer. They also brought us things like the planting machine which can do three things at a time; plant, plough and put the fertilizer at the same time.”


Moreover, the development of farmer organizations with collective marketing and contract farming has enabled farmers - who used to have no say on the price - to have a common selling place, where they can aggregate and store their products, as well as negotiate prices and engage with buyers, boosting the local economy and empowering women. Price per kilo has increased by 50 percent and the higher income generated can now be invested in other risk-reduction and mitigating practices such as insurance for crops, nutritious food, health care and school fees.

SOUNDBITE English) Purity Njeru, Farmer and Group Coordinator:
“Most of us have achieved a lot through the financiers because we get loans from the banks. Many women have opened bank accounts; those had no bank accounts before. Currently the CBO [Community Based Organization] has about 1.4 Million [14,000 USD] from the Equity Bank, which is distributed to the smaller groups and back to the individual.”

The farmers groups, especially those who signed contract with a buyer can receive group loans from financial agencies by using the signed contract as collateral. The group loans are used to purchase high quality inputs directly from the input companies and can be reinvested to scale up farmers’ agribusiness activities.

SOUNDBITE English) Purity Njeru, Farmer and Group Coordinator:
“Some have bought a cow for milk, others have got chicken. So that you can sustain your family as you carry on.”

The continued support to farmers through training and capacity building of local officials will help closing the gender gap in agriculture, a proven strategy for improving health, nutrition and children’s education.
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