Category Archives: Young Farmers Success Stories

Young Farmers Success Stories is an initiative that aims to inspire and encourage the next generation of sustainable farmers. We like to show and share inspiring stories about young farmers who have – despite the many difficulties – managed to set up farming initiatives which are innovative, viable and sustainable!

Foundation for Young Farmers “the Best Blog with Business Potential” in the 2014 #YoBloCo Awards

Photo: Best Blog with Business Potential won by Mwenda David, with the blog "Foundation for young Farmers"

Best Blog with Business Potential winner Mwenda David, with the blog “Foundation for young Farmers” Receiving an Award Plague and a Certificate at Kenya School of Monetary Studies.

The winners of the Youth in Agriculture blog competition (Yobloco Awards) were announced on the 17th of July, 2014 during the cocktail dinner organized at the Fin4Ag International Conference in Nairobi, Kenya where Foundation for young Farmers came out as the Best Blog with Business Potential in the competition. Results were announced by Philppe Couve, Jury member, assisted by Ken Lohento, in charge of the ARDYIS project. The results were announced in presence of participants of the conference, during a cocktail, and in the presence of various personalities including the Director of CTA, Michael Hailu.

The Youth in Agriculture Blog Competition (YoBloCo Awards) was organised in the framework of the CTA ARDYIS project, in collaboration with FARA,  CAFAN,  AYFANAFESPC/PAFPNET Yam-Pukri, and e-Agriculture. It aims to put into limelight successes and issues faced by youth engaged in agriculture, in urban and rural areas; and to encourage the production of information and the use of new information and communication technologies by young farmers groups and organisations interested in the youth in agriculture question. For more information, visit www.yobloco.info.40 ACP countries joined the 2nd edition of the YoBloCo awards and 194 Blogs were submittedout of which 121 blogs in the individual category and 24 blogs in the institutional category were selected to go through the public evaluation process (http://www.yobloco.info/). 30 qualifying blogs which received the highest number of public votes in the individual and highest number of comments in the institutional category were selected and evaluated by the jury. The jury made its decision and Foundation for young Farmers emerged as the Best Blog with Business Potential out of the 30 finalists.

Other Winners of the YoBloCo Awards announced at the Fin4Ag Conference can be found on the http://www.yobloco.info

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart, for all the love and kindness, all the votes, and most importantly, all of your encouragement. You inspire me.

 

Young Farmers Success Stories

Venturing into farming is not easy for young people. However, around the world, young farmers are developing innovative strategies that allow them to access land, capital and markets.

Young Farmers Success Stories is an initiative that aims to inspire and encourage the next generation of sustainable farmers. We like to show and share inspiring stories about young farmers who have – despite the many difficulties – managed to set up farming initiatives which are innovative, viable and sustainable!

Meet Ann Kimathi who was tired of working in the hotel industry for the past 11 years and opted to give farming a try. Taking advantage of the lessons given by the government of mushroom farming, Ann says leaving formal employment to start her own business began as her retirement plan.

Meet Morris Maina Thuo an Accountant whose bank account flows in passion fruits money

Meet Martha Otieno from Homabay County, a young farmer reaping big from farming. she is a woman in her twenties from a community not known for farming but earning so much through agriculture?

Meet Mary Wairimu, a trained teacher who opted to do farming instead of embarking on her teaching career.

Meet Caleb Karuga, he sacrificed his fame on TV and ventured in poultry farming and he is headed to be a millionaire”

Meet Timothy,Dog Breeder and Trainer

Meet Hellen Koech a chicken farmer

Meet Paul Njagi who uses his training in accounting to manage his dairy farming, Njagi smiles all the way to his ATM.

For more visit https://youngfamersfoundation.wordpress.com/young-successful-farmers-in-kenya/

 

Unveiling the Top 12 Bloggers of the YoBloCo Awards! – Thankyou for Voting Foundation for Young Farmers Blog

Unveiling the Top 12 Bloggers of the YoBloCo Awards!

Posted on May 27, 2014

The jury has made its decision and the winners of the YoBloCo Awards have been selected. We are excited to unveil the Top 12 Bloggers of the Awards! The actual 9 Winners will be announced at the Prize Giving Ceremony of the competition, which will take place during CTA’s 2014 International Conference “Fin4Ag” www.fin4ag.org, in Nairobi, Kenya, from 14 – 18 July 2014.  All the 12 best participants will be invited to take part in the conference.

Top 12 Bloggers

The Top 12 Bloggers of the 2nd Edition of the YoBloCo Awards are (listed in alphabetical order of the blog’s name):

Individual Category (six prizes will be awarded in this category):

Blogger’s Name Blog Name Country

Oluwabunmi Ajilore

Ecoagriculturist Nigeria

Elcah Nafula Barasa

Elcah’s Blog Kenya

David Mwenda

Foundation for young Farmers Kenya

Inoussa Maiga

Googol Farmer Burkina Faso

Marthe Montcho

Le blog de Marthe MONTCHO Benin

Anne Matho Motsou

Les graines de l’info Cameroon

Haingo Rasolofomanana

l’odeur de la terre Madagascar

Luke Smith

LukesmithT.v Trinidad and Tobago

Institutional Category (three prizes will be awarded in this category):

Institution Blog Name Region

Agropreneur Nigeria

Agropreneur Naija- Keeping the NEXT Generation of Agriculturist Informed West Africa

Youth Partnership and Agricultural Development

Blog Africa Family Farming Workshops West Africa

Arid Lands Information Network

 Laikipia Rural Voices Eastern Africa

Savannah Young Farmers Network

Savannah Young Farmers Network (SavaNet) West Africa

No winner has been selected in Central Africa for the institutional category. There was also no entry received from the other ACP regions in this category.

Encouragements

CTA wishes to encourage the following participants from Central Africa, the Pacific and Southern Africa for the interest of their blogs. They will also be invited to attend the Fin4Ag Conference.

Blogger/Institution Blog Name Region

AGRO-HUB Cooperative Limited (Institutional category)

Agro-Hub blog Central Africa

Carole Cholai (Individual category)

PNG Women|Agriculture|ICT|Development Pacific
Harrison Manyumwa (Individual category)  The Barefoot E-ssue Southern Africa

Congratulations to all these participants!

Prizes

Prizes going up to 3,000 Euros will be awarded for the Institutional Category and up to 1,500 Euros for the Individual Category. Special prizes are: Best Blog for Family Farming, Best Female Blog and Best Blog with Business Potential.

We hope that the all bloggers will keep updating their blogs and raise the youth voice in agriculture. You are all doing a wonderful job, keep it up!

And for the best participants, the adventure continues in Nairobi at the Fin4Ag Conference!

For more information:

Launched in October 2013 at the Caribbean Week of Agriculture, the 2nd Edition of the YoBloCo Awards has been a very exciting journey for participants and the organisers. We would like to thank all the participants who took up the challenge and submitted their blogs. We are equally thankful to our partners and everyone who have been following, supporting and promoting the competition!

The Youth in Agriculture Blog Competition (YoBloCo Awards) is organised in the framework of the CTA ARDYIS project, in collaboration with FARA, Yam-PukriCAFANAYF, ANAFE, SPC/PAFPNET and e-Agriculture. It aims to put into limelight successes and issues faced by youth engaged in agriculture, in urban and rural areas; and to encourage the production of information and the use of new information and communication technologies by young farmers groups and organisations interested in the youth in agriculture question. For more information, visit www.yobloco.info

STORY OF A KENYAN JOURNALIST WHO PUT PEN DOWN TO MAKE PROFIT IN FARMING

WATER MELON FARMING
Martha Otieno gave up her job search after almost a year in the ever competitive Kenyan employment market to venture into agri-business.

The bachelor of journalism graduate from St Augustine University of Dar es Salaam retreated to her rural home in Homa Bay County in 2011 after her attempts to secure a job with media houses in Nairobi failed.

“I was putting up with a friend while depending on my parents for upkeep and you know how life in Nairobi can be expensive,” she says.

Back home, she joined a women’s self-help group that engaged in a variety of income-generating activities on a small scale; their undertakings mostly revolved around merry-go-rounds and collective investment.

Her participation in the group injected the much- needed exposure and fresh organisational skills since most members had ordinary education levels. She introduced them to small-scale banana and mango farming with the proceeds being shared among members.

After a few months of dealing with the group and having raised enough capital, she opted to go it alone after she realised she could reap big returns from farming.

“I did not want to restructure the group with my plans, that’s why I decided to chart my own path,” she says.

Armed with nothing but a determination to make money, Ms Otieno, 28, invested Sh40,000 —her entire savings— in an acre of watermelons.
She was eyeing a profit of Sh300, 000 from the leased parcel of land after just three months but barely three weeks before she could harvest, flash floods struck and swept away her entire plantation.

“We are in an area which is prone to flooding but I did not expect to come face to face with its devastating effects that fast,” says Ms Otieno.

She picked up the pieces and sought the advice of agronomists on the best way to maximise returns from the small pieces of land while spreading the inherent risks.

Ms Otieno started by leasing small parcels of land in different parts of Homa Bay County as a first step to spreadng risks as well as ensuring a steady income.

She specialised in fast-maturing crops like watermelons, tomatoes and capsicums as well as butter nuts that take an average of three months to be ready—with returns as high as Sh300,000 upon harvesting.

Her second attempt bore fruit as she broke even. Her subsequent harvest was even much better, giving her a foothold on her new-found job.

She says she was not new to farming because she used to make a little money on the side from growing rice while studying in Tanzania. But she never contemplated doing it full time.

“I would grow rice, harvest and keep waiting for a shortage in the market before selling, thus relieving my father of the burden of giving me upkeep money,” says Ms Otieno.

In just under three years since she ventured into agri-business, Ms Otieno is now the owner of a four-acre piece of land. While she cannot disclose what she makes, she clearly has no regrets.

An acre of watermelons, for instance, can fetch up to Sh300,000 while tomatoes and capsicums earn in excess of Sh250, 000 after three months and she can farm up to five acres in a season.

As her fortunes rose, her unemployed age mates approached her wanting to know her secret to success and being the business savvy person she is, she saw another avenue to push her ventures to another level while helping them out.

She championed the formation of a 20-member group registered as St Macharia’s self-help group comprising unemployed youths from Homa Bay County scattered in major towns across the country.

“We have members in Nairobi, Nakuru and Kisumu among other towns that help in co-ordination of sales after harvest,” says Ms Otieno.

The group can decide to collectively invest although it is routine that after splitting the profits from a harvest, each member should strive to individually invest in a farming project.

Thanks to Ms Otieno’s grassroots connection due to lengthy periods of interacting with local farmers, members willing to farm only need to send her money and wait for their harvest although occasionally coming to inspect their investments.

Market

The initiative has completely cut the group members’ dependency on their parents for upkeep with others opting to further their education as they continue with job searches.

Brenda Anyango, 25, is one such beneficiary of the group. She is currently pursuing a degree course at a local private university using proceeds from the group. “I joined the group 10 months ago and already I have enrolled for a degree after two seasons of farming,” says Ms Anyango.

A few other members have since secured jobs but they remain true to the spirit of the group and use it to generate an extra income.

The group is structured in such a way that those in urban centres monitor the prices of agricultural commodities to enable it have a calendar of what crops are profitable and when.

“Most farmers incur losses because they fail to conduct a market research before embarking on farming,” says Ms Otieno.

Successful agribusiness, she says, must start with a study of the market so that one knows what to expect upon harvest since there will be ready market.