REPORT ON THE BASELINE SURVEY ON PROMOTING A GENDER RESPONSIVE GREEN REVOLUTION FOR AFRICA THROUGH RESEARCH, ADVOCACY AND CAPACITY ENHANCEMENT OF WOMEN FARMERS IN KANGUNDO, MATUNGULU AND KATHIANI DISTRICT, 24th – 27th October, 2011.
Foundation For Women’s Rights in Kenya.
Reported By Rina Mueke – 31st October, 2011.
Eastern province is known for its persisting dry weather. This is true because a group of women farmers from Koma Rock did plant some food crops like maize and beans but did not harvest any produce at the end of the last season. Other cash and food crop women farmers from Tala and Kanzalu harvested quite a lot from the last season. In nguluni location, a few women farmers managed to eat just a little from their planted crops, thus forcing them not to engage in Agri-business, that is, making money from the sales of crops planted in one’s farm. All this is evident from raw data collected Kangundo district-Kannzalu location, Matungulu District-Tala and Nguluni Locationa and Kathiani District-Koma Rock location from 24th to 27th October, 2011.
On 24th of October, 10 women farmers were interviewed on the Global Fund for Women questionnaires. A few of them belonged to women groups not necessarily an agricultural or farming related group but merry-go round kind of women groups. These groups help the members with money so that they can buy seeds to plant plus other activities.
Women farmers in Kanzalu grow coffee as a cash crop, maize, beans and cowpeas as food crops. Some cash crop farmers make a harvest of more than 50,000kg of coffee within one agricultural year, with an income of more than 1 million. Other farmers produce less coffee because their lands are not huge. Coffee is able to grow well because the soil is loam and thick. Considering that the rains have just began, most of the crops are already planted and are sprouting out. Another cash and food crop planted in this location is macadamia, avocadoes, and mangoes. While other farmers know well how to plant and produce a lot of macadamia, other farmers wish to be trained on how to plant macadamia as a cash crop. This clearly shows that agricultural information is not shared among women farmers, and it is indeed a competition of who plants more and who produces more food. 5 women farmers were interviewed on 25th of October.
Tala holds the biggest market within the four locations mentioned above. Most of the women who are into agri-business sell most of their crops, if not all, in Tala market. There is also a coffee cooperative where some, if not all, coffee farmers sell their coffee to. It is the same place where they purchased coffee seeds. Women farmers in Tala plant coffee as a cash crop, produce groundnuts, maize, beans and cowpeas. Most of the women who are not into agri-business have other businesses like selling of ripe bananas and charcoal. Through this, they are able to make a little money for themselves. 4 women farmers were interviewed from this location on 25th of October.
Nguluni is situated between Komarock and Tala. A sample of 15 women were interviewed on 26th of October. Most of the food crop planted in this location includes: maize, beans and cowpeas. Some women rear chicken for meat and eggs. From the sample of women interviewed in this location, some admitted that they did not produce much food from the last season due to the dry weather.
Komarock location got its name from the existing rocks beneath the top soil. This rocky area has caused women farmers not to plant crops that have deep roots, thus resulting to lack planting fruits like mangoes, oranges and avocadoes. Most of the women, if not all, do not engage in value addition of their crops. 15 women farmers were interviewed, 1 of whom grew tobacco as a cash crop and the rest did not engage in agri-business but grew food crops which were hardly enough for seeds. Main food crops include maize, beans, cowpeas and Kunde.
Challenges met during data collection was slippery none tarmacked roads to the farmers due to the rain and hesitation of some farmers to be interviewed as they claimed that they did not have any data of produce to give because they did not produce any food from the last season.
From the data collection, I was able to learn that the rains are necessary and needed much by the farmers. The food produce purely were determined by the rains, and they determined the health of the women’s family’s, including their extended relatives. Therefore, inadequate rains are a source of low food produce and poor health in the eastern province.
LETS MOVE FORWARD WITH CONFIDENCE AS WE TRUST HIS VISION
“The Lord turned to him and said, ‘Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?’ ‘But Lord,’ Gideon asked, ‘how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.'”
Gideon was scared and saw himself as one with little worth, “the least in my family,” but God saw the next brave leader of a nation. Gideon saw weakness, but God saw strength. Gideon saw his past failures, but God saw the future victories of a mighty warrior. Gideon’s vision required him to fearfully work for his next loaf, but God’s vision was calling Gideon to boldly lead many others closer to His side.
God sees each of us much differently than we see ourselves; “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). Not only does God see deeper, He sees with an expanded spiritual spectrum which we can scarcely imagine. Our Father is intimately aware of all our failings…and He loves us anyway! He not only sees who we are, but also who we will become as our heart is fully devoted to Him and we learn to walk in step with His Spirit. He sees every opportunity we will ever have to glorify His name.
Let’s put aside the baggage of our past which clouds and distorts our view. Let’s refuse to look through the filter of our present understanding and perceived limitations; “fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen” (2 Corinthians 4:18). God has called us into His Glorious Kingdom, uniquely equipped us for His service, and given us an assignment to share His love and truth. Our Heavenly Father sees our full potential as we walk in His strength. Let’s answer the call and move forward with confidence as we trust His vision.
There is so much more than meets the eyes
Or what’s going on inside
I believe in something way beyond myself
Like the wind that moves the leaves
Lord, You moves me to my knees
I believe in something way beyond myself….
- I am doing my best. God please do the rest.
When you feel strongly about something, you’re never shy about letting the world know. That goes double for now. In fact, right now, anyone who challenges you really should be warned first — because you’re absolutely not in the mood to be messed around with. You won’t stand for it, not for one minute.