For many seasons Mr. Yate tried farming to compliment income from his electrical wiring job that he had been doing since he completed college. He planted maize and beans, the only crops he knew and understood as the best and the suitable for Marsabit and he also found his parents farming as he grew up, for many season but what he got out of it was really discouraging since Marsabit weather is unpredictable and most of the time received very little rainfall. This continued for many years until he attended commercialization campaigns facilitated by FCI under the Agro-pastoralist Commercialization and Markets in Northern Kenya supported by Tearfund.
Mr. Samuel spraying insecticides at flowing stage to control insects
Mr. Samuel Yate transformed from subsistence farming to profitable farming on joining Dakabaricha Commercial Village after attending commercialization campaigns by FCI on green grams production and he got interested in the value chain and the whole idea of commercial Village Model. He put green grams farming to a test and followed all what he was trained on. His adoption came at a very right time according to him, for those who planted maize or beans incurred huge loses following rainfall failure experienced last season in Marsabit County. FCI linked Samuel to agricultural extension service providers including the Ministry of Agriculture and input companies who trained him on pest and disease control, safe chemical use and use of N26 variety certified seed of green grams which is suitable for Marsabit climate and soil. Mr. Yate used correct spacing and he was very keen on observing even slight changes with his crops in terms of attack by pest or diseases.
Mr. Yate harvested 700kgs of green grams from his 2 acres land and he sold all of them at KES 100 per Kg and got KES
Mr. Samuel Yate standing outside his three roomed rental houses
70,000/- which recorded the highest profit margin compared to other crops that he used to plant in the past. This marked an historic moment in the farming endeavor of Yate who used to earn a mere Ksh. 10,000 (USD 100) from the sale of maize and beans in the previous years thus a 700% increase in income. The increase in yield from 2 acre land was a clear indication to Mr. Yate that N26 variety of green grams was suitable for Marsabit climate and soil, increase in income was also another indication that green grams has higher value compared to the traditionally grown maize and beans. “Green grams produced by Marsabit farmers were declared the best by local traders comparing to green grams imported from Meru and Moyale,” says Mr. Yate.
The increase in yield can be attributed to application of good agronomic practices and market linkages by FCI which ensured Yate and other Commercial Village members sold directly to traders without going through a broker.
Mr. Samuel Yate decided to invest the money he got from green grams sales and build 3 roomed rental houses which he said will continue generating sustainable income. Mr. Yate plans to expand hhis acreage under green grams in the coming season to 5 acres and hopes to use the income to build more rental houses and build his family a modern house. “I thank Farm Concern because my life and that of my family has changed for good” said an elated Mr. Yate.
FCI VISION : To have commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond