KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.

Magdalene Nduku John, 32, is a member of Malioni Kyeni Youth group a vegetable growing group comprised of 22(male- 15, female- 7) members. The group is part of the large Mutwangombe Community Based Organization in Mwingi Central. Magdalene wholesomely relied on the income from Bodaboda business, charcoal burning and brick making .They often skipped meals due to the poverty levels and their children were on and off school due to lack of school fees. Despite them having some piece of land along the Kamunyu River, they lived from hand to mouth as they could not practice farming due to low water levels and had no access of equipment.

During review of action plans and development of participatory activity and monitoring matrix, the group’s priority was construction of a sand dam and the community offered casual labor and all required raw materials and within few months.  The sand dam was complete and harvested enough rains during the OND rains. Since formation of the group, the group has received capacity building trainings from ADSE in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture in Kitui County on Good agricultural practices through demonstrations and field days and the group ventured on vegetable farming as a business. The group was trained on micro finance literacy with more on formation of village saving and loaning groups where they later formed VSL groups. Magdalene started saving regularly with the vision being to access credit and buy a generator that will help her establish high value crops in the piece of land along the river. She later purchased a generator and ADSE linked her with certified agro dealers for ease of access to farm inputs. Magdalene established kales, tomatoes, sugarcane, spinach and cabbages in the piece of land and the kales and spinach have earned her Ksh. 60,000 and 20,000 respectively within the last 5 months. The Cabbage and tomatoes will be ready in September and their average income is estimated at Kshs. 65,000 with an expected sale of Kshs.15, 000 and 50,000 respectively.

From the sale of the vegetables Magdalene has bought 30 chicken and 8 goats to provide manure for the farm, provide eggs and milk for improved nutritional status and a source of income. Magdalene feels indebted to ADSE for the support and works they are doing in the area as of the impact on their lives.