Conservation Agriculture; for a Sustained Livelihood
April 25, 2022
Success Story: Margret Kageni
My name is Margret Kageni, I live in Kiandia Village, Mukothima location, Mukothima ward, Tharaka Nithi County. I live with my husband. We are blessed with five children. I am a farmer and I incorporate crop farming with livestock keeping.
Before I started practicing Conservation Agriculture (CA), our farms were the same in terms of produce. We had very clean farms as we could clear everything and burn the residues before we plant. We believed we were perfect, and we were ready enough for planting and good harvest. The harvest frustrated us always, as the crops could not produce to our expectations, the produce was too little, and not worthy of investing any money or energy.
I met NCCK in 2017 and they started calling us for meetings. I represented my area in the trainings. After the trainings, I decided to try a portion of my land on Conservation Agriculture with maize and I decided to monitor closely that portion. On the Conservation Agriculture portion, which was less than ¼ an acre, I managed to harvest 270kg. This really encouraged me. Earlier, this is what I would harvest on an acre under convectional farming. The next season, I decided to set all my farm under Conservation Agriculture, when preparing land, my neighbours were laughing at me as I carried crop residues they were throwing away to my farm and tree leaves. My husband has been supportive after he saw the success of the portion I had set for conservation agriculture.
My farm has looked so different from those of my neighbours. I harvest even with little rains and with enough rains, my harvests cannot be compared to theirs. My neighbours are learning from me as they visit each day to learn on my activities.
I then incorporated crop farming with goats rearing and a lot of agroforestry that makes my farm so beautiful and different from other farms. Farmers from other areas and counties have been coming to learn from me and I feel happy about that. My efforts are paid highly through the harvest. I have planted some banana trees and fruits trees that fetch a lot of money after sale at the local market. I now have something for sale from my farm anytime from the banana trees and the fruits and this helps me save a lot on income that would else be used in daily activities. I am able to pay for the school fees of my children from the farm’s income. Three of them have successfully completed post-secondary education and two are still in school.
NCCK has really helped us; we thank the agronomists for their efforts in the field. They are here with us any time we need them. I’m always happy when I see the bracharia grass that NCCK donated to us. The grass is doing well, and I have been harvesting mine for my goats.
I would really pray that NCCK to stay longer with us. We have a lot we need to learn from them, and let other people also learn. May God bless NCCK.