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Promotion of Fodder Production and Storage Benefits Farmers and Pastoralists

In Kenya’s Tana River District, both pastoralists and farmers suffer when there is drought. Many of the indigenous communities grow maize, beans, mangoes, and various traditional vegetables. Lacking an irrigation scheme, the farmers often find their crops succumbing to the harsh climate. 

USAID’s Kenya Drylands Livestock Development Program (KDLDP), in conjunction with other strategic partners, has introduced local farmers to the idea of growing fodder during the rainy season and storing it for saleduring the dry season. Since the program’s inception in 2011, more than 5,000 bales of fodder (valued at $30,000) have been produced by farms in the region that received fodder training from the program. As a result, household and food security for families have markedly improved. 

Jane Ayub is a local farmer and mother of three who belongs to the Jabesa Biskidera Association. The members of this association aggregated their individual plots of land to form Makindani farm. They started by growing traditonal vegetable crops, but after Ayub saw a demonstration of fodder production on the nearby Kono farm, members of the Jabesa Biskidera Association integrated fodder production into their business.

Ayub immediately understood that fodder was profitable for farmers such as herself and was also a lifeline for local pastoralists during periods of drought. With training from USAID’s Kenya Drylands Livestock Development Program, Ayub increased her household income from $2 a day to $60. 

In October 2012, KDLDP hosted World Food Day celebrations at Kono farm. Ayub proudly displayed what she and her group had achieved. “Now I tell other members of the community how growing fodder can change their lives, especially the lives of women,” Ayub exclaims.

This article originally appeared on the USAID Mission Kenya website. Read another story about a farmer impacted by this project.

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