Cassava growing for food security in Kenya

by PATHWAYS Leadership for Progress
Vetted

Murangua Kenya

Dear Friends,

The cassava project has been successful and has provided needed income to the community.  There are numerous people who have benefitted for instance, Charles,  a 35-year old father of 6. To fend for his family, he had been working as an on-and -off casual labourer, picking coffee berries in an estate at Thika, 23 Kilometres away. When you helped us acquire a mill, Charles asked to work as the operator. He now earns Ksh. 5,000 monthly, much higher and stable that what he did previously. Charles said," Out of this higher and more stable income that I now receive, I am sure to save enough to educate my children and secure them a better future!"

When the workload intensifies, particularly during harvest seasons, we hire 2  more people to assist the operator.
More importantly, the mill provides indirect employment to many others. These include small businesses milling flour for preparing and selling doughnuts, chapattis, porridge and other dishes.

The milling operation continues to progress incredibly well. The mill serves the Muthithi Community comprising of about 100,000 people. Previously, community members had to walk to Sabasaba town, 6 Kilometers away, to get the service. More so, through our social-enterprise model, we offer much more reduced charges. Instead of Ksh. 30 per tin charged by others, we ask for Ksh. 10. This has tremendously assisted in hunger- reduction efforts. There before, many couldn't afford the exorbitantly high charges. With the low price that we charge, milling cassava chips and grains for flour  has become much more affordable!

Currently, I am finishing up my graduate studies at the U of Nairobi in Economics and will be moving on to start my career.  My life's goal is to alleviate poverty throughout Kenya.  I learned so much doing this project and will use what I have learned to help others throughout Kenya.

 

I am grateful for your support of my community.  They are extremely grateful to you as well.

We will never forget your generosity!

Michael Murigi

Women tending cassava
Women tending cassava

Murangua Kenya

 

October 2015

 

Dear Donors,

I have some exciting news. Farmers are now increasingly adopting cassava cultivation. This has in turn seen cassava production levels increase. The increased production has has attracted the attention of the establishe  large flour millers towards the crop. A number of the large flour millers in Kenya such as Unga limited have started selling cassava flour. 

A few bakeries in the country have started enriching  wheat flour with cassava flour in the production of breads and cakes. This bodes well for our cassava project. 

Cassava flour is deemed better  if fortified with other  kinds of flour such as wheat, corn, millet because it is excessively fine and less whitish in colour.

The entry of the big firms, that have more expertise and much more funds to afford a better  technology that necessitates  production of  higher quantity and quality cassava flour, works to the advantage of farmers.

The farm-gate prices for cassava crop will only go up translating to increased returns for the farmers.

In the photo are women in the field tending the cassava. We are looking forward to greater returns on our cassava. The community is happy that they transitioned to this drought resistant crop.

Thank you for your continued support in this effort to move from corn to drought resistant cassava for food security and economic empowerment.

 

Michael Murigi.

Links:

Beneficiaries of cassava growing training
Beneficiaries of cassava growing training

Murangua Kenya

 

April 2015

 

Dear Donors,

 

My community is extremely grateful for the purchase of the mill that grinds our cassava into flour to make many food products ranging from donuts to cakes.  By having the flour available, these products can be made and sold at a profit resulting in the income of our community increasing greatly. I am not through though. My goal is to keep working to help my community to be as prosperous as possible.

 

We have been learning many lessons. One has to do with the processing of cassava. Before cassava flour is milled, cassava tubers are first chopped and dried. Farmers in the area have been using some rather unhygienic means. They have been spreading the cassava chips on gunny bags and drying in the sun. This exposes the cassava into all manner of contamination especially dust.

 

Fortunately, this will now be history. Farmers have started fabricating driers. They are making these driers from cheap and readily available materials. Cassava chips are dried in these covered driers. This goes a long way in improve hygiene standards of the food. The covers are intentionally dark to absorb more heat thus quickening and making  the drying process more efficient..

 

Thank you for your continued support to improve food security and the local economy in my village.

 

With gratitude,

 

Michael Murigi

Ms. Lydiah
Ms. Lydiah

Murangua Kenya

 

April 2015

Dear Donors,

The Cassava revolution in our village has not only boosted food security but also income generation.  As you may recall, cassava is a perfect crop for our arid region as it is both highly nutritious (for human and livestock consumption) and drought resistant. 

Entrepreneurial residents have been making various cassava products.

A remarkable case is Lydiah who even has a fabricated machine that she uses to chop raw cassava tubers into small pieces after which she deep fries and sells as cassava chips.

Lydiah, who on the photo, is operating the machine, earns between Kshs.1,000 to Ksh.2,000 ($15-30) daily from the sale of cassava chips.

She says," I have been selling the cassava chips just within the village but I have a vision to expanding my target market to other areas particularly the urban centres. 

Mary, a mother of three, is one of the many farmers who readily embraced the cassava project from its inception.

In 2011, she received 100 cuttings for planting in her own farm. She planted these on a 1/4 acre plot.

Over the years, she has enlarged this to an acre. Mary produces about 20 tons annually. She mills a big amount  of her produce into flour for her family's consumption and animal feeds for her livestock. The rest, she sells to traders.

She says  that cassava has proved not only nutritious but also economical in the wake of soaring food prices. 

Thank you for your continued support to improve food security and the local economy in my village.

 

With gratitude,

 

Michael Murigi

Nyeri community group
Nyeri community group

Murangu'a Kenya

Dear Friends,

Our cassva project continues to help many rural people improve their lives. 

Bidii farmers group from Nyeri, a county that neighbors ours, have immensely benefited from our project. Their area is equally arid and have been finding it difficult to continue with vegetables farming due to recurring crop failure. Two years ago they heard about the achievements of our cassava project, aired on a local radio station.

They got in touch with us to learn more about cassava farming. We were happy with their desire to learn and donated to them a few cuttings to plant.

Currently, the group boasts of a 5-acre cluster farm under cassava and aiming to increase the acreage. They are already reaping big in terms of improved food security and increased income through sale of cassava tubers.

Captured in the photo, is the group in their cassava farm.

We are also working on raising additional funds for a borehole that would bring needed water to this dry area.

With gratitude,

Michael

Links:

 

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Organization Information

PATHWAYS Leadership for Progress

Location: Lilburn, GA - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.pathwayslp.org
Project Leader:
Angie Gust
PATHWAYS Leadership for Progress
Lilburn, GA Kenya

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