Shooting for Farm Africa in Kitui
A couple of weeks ago, I found myself in Kitui, telling stories of farmers benefiting from Farm Africa’s projects in the county. I’d never been to Kitui before this so I was excited at the prospect of tucking another county under my travelling belt and meeting more farmers who feed Kenya.
Faming in Kitui takes a lot of courage. You can’t just pick a patch of land, cultivate, plant and harvest. It takes much more than that. With rainfall being unreliable in most locations in the county, you need to research on what crops will do best based on the climate and soil composition. On this trip, I got to meet many farmers who are doing great despite the odds piled up against them.
Our first stop was Pastor David Mutinda’s farm, where we found him and his wife Kavutha tending to their bean crop.
They also grow sorghum on one part of their farm.
We also met Nduko Muli who grows beans and keeps dairy goats as well.
The average age of the Kenyan farmer is 60 years. Because of this fact, I always get excited when I meet young Kenyans running successful farming projects, like Kyakya Youth Group in Kivumbini.
The 28 members have sorghum and green grams growing in their farm in Kyalele.
When we visited Muthuani Self Help Group in Nzagathi, Kyalele Location, we found them milling chicken feed from a mixture of green grams, sorghum, sunflower, maize germ, wheat bran, rice and lime. I was looking for a different way of telling their story so I placed a GoPro inside a sack where the milled feed was being packed into, and using the remote shooting feature, managed to take this shot. What excites me about it is I didn’t direct the farmers at all, I just asked them to continue what they were doing and not mind me, and by God’s favour, I froze this perfectly timed shot.
Maxwell Kyendwa’s story was one of the most inspiring I got to document. He started rearing chicken in 2006. From his profits, he’s managed to buy goats and from profits from goat sales he’s bought cows.
No animals were injured in the making of this photo.
Sarah Mwendwa packs Kitui Royal mango juice for sale in Kitui and other towns at Kitui Enterprise Promotion’s factory. The factory was constructed with funding from Farm Africa and has helped local farmers process their own juice, giving them higher returns for their crop after eliminating middle men from the equation.
In Kasiluni Village, we found Beatrice Kimwele who grows green grams on her farm.
Through her mobile phone, she is able to establish what the market price for her produce is.
We gave one of Beatrice’s daughter a bottle of Kitui Royal mango juice.
Beatrice and her family outside their home.
One of the ways in which Farm Africa assists farmers is providing free farming advice through agricultural officers like Nyagha, who had visited Susan Musembi in Katangine Borehole, Ngomeni. Oh, that’s Ngomeni Rock in the background.
Coconuts in Kitui!? I was also pleasantly surprised!
Before returning to Nairobi, we stopped by a field day where farmers were gathered learning about animal husbandry and crop management. This little boy caught my eye as he dug around a weed and watered it, completely oblivious of the serious discussions going on in the background.
From Kitui I headed to western Kenya still with Farm Africa. I’ll share about that in the next blog post.