Siteko Commercial Village in Western Kenya started in 2013 after commercialization campaigns by Farm Concern International under the USAID Kenya Horticulture Competitiveness Programme.
Mabale Commercial Producer Group is part of Siteko Commercial Village in Busia County. In 2010, the group received assistance from the Ministry of Water and Irrigation to install an irrigation system covering an area of approximately 300 acres. However, the irrigation system remained idle and unutilized because the group did not have market information on commodities. The farmers had tried several times to plant kales, but the gluts made them vulnerable to market brokers as a result of poor production scheduling.
The group consists of 25 members, 11 males and 14 female including four youth members. 2013 was the turning point for the Group after attending commercialization training by Farm Concern International. FCI trained the members on market trends and production planning for assorted vegetables targeting markets in Busia County. Armed with this information from the markets, the farmers committed themselves to the market information provided and together with FCI, developed a planting calendar to respond to premium priced seasons identified in the market. The group has since established six acres of kales planted at varied stages to ensure consistent supply in meeting their customers’ demands.
As a result of production planning, farmers from the Commercial Producer Group are now able to target and meet market requirements, leading to an income of Kshs 30,000 (USD 335.57) per month in sales.
The farmers have been linked to St. Mathias Secondary, Our Lady of Mercy Girls and other schools based in Busia town. In addition, to the group’s current turnover of approximately Kshs 30,000 (USD 335.57) per month, the members hope to double this with the increased marketing support they are receiving from Farm Concern International.
FCI VISION : To have commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond