Mr. Kingori is a member of Embaringo Commercial Village in Central Kenya started as a result of FCI commercialization trainings and whose life has been transformed from a subsistence farmer earning only Ksh. 40,000 per season to a commercial farmer making Ksh. 300,000 per season. His household is one of the 115,491 smallholder households commercialized under the Domestic Markets Regional Programme funded by Bill and Melinda Gates and implemented by FCI. Proceeds from onion sales have seen King’ori buy two dairy cows valued at Kshs. 80,000 and two plots valued at Kshs. 600,000.
Samuel owns a one acre piece of land in Ngano-ini village in Central Kenya and another 0.5 acres which he has hired for onion farming. He has been practising subsistence farming for a long time using the knowledge he had acquired from his parents. His main cash crop is onion though he also crop rotates with Irish potatoes, maize and beans as food crops.
Before Farm Concern International intervention, Kingori used to grow onion in small scale in his one acre piece of land. The management of the farm was poor and this led to him incurring great losses. He was also growing Open Pollinated Varieties (OPV) just like other farmers in his village. The market for the produce was unattractive thus leaving them at the mercies of middlemen who would often exploit them. As such, King’ori did not have enough money to meet his family needs.
FCI intervened by conducting various commercialization campaigns, training farmers on the importance of forming Commercial Villages (CVs) and various agronomical modules. In addition to this, farmers were linked to inputs suppliers who sold the inputs to farmers at discounted prices besides offering technical and extension support in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture. This led to King’ori and other farmers in his Commercial Village being introduced to hybrid onion varieties which have better yields as compared to the OPV. The better yields influenced Kingori to get into onion commercial farming due to its profitability and market availability.
King’ori says, “Before FCI interventions, the highest sale I ever made was Kshs. 40,000 from 2000 Kgs of onion that I had produced in my one acre piece of land; after the project interventions, I was able to make Kshs. 300,000 from that same piece of land.”
Proceeds from onion sales have seen King’ori buy two dairy cows valued at Kshs. 80, 000, a pickup valued at Ksh. 260,000, two plots valued at Kshs. 600,000 and savings of Kshs. 300, 000. He has also built a house and managed to take his children to boarding schools. He additionally has a storage facility for his onions which was set-up as a community demonstration on multi storage facility.
FCI VISION : To have commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond