Farmers in Marsabit, Northen Kenya learn fodder production

Boru Kasa a 33 years old farmer in Dakabarisha location, in Marsabit County, has learned the value of using maize stalks and cobs to produce fodder as a source of animal feed. In addition to using it for his own livestock, proceeds from the sale of surplus fodder have helped increase his income, which means he is now more resilient to shocks, including recurring droughts.

Boru is a member of Juhudi Farmers Self Help Group, who received support from Adeso’s USAID-funded Resilience and Economic Growth in the Arid Lands – Improving Resilience (REGAL-IR) program. After undergoing a community planning process, members of the group borrowed money from REGAL’s Community Resilience Empowerment Fund in order to jumpstart small business ventures to strengthen their resilience through livelihood diversification.

Not so long ago, Boku had limited knowledge of fodder production. Although he had been growing maize for many years, he used to burn the stalks instead of looking at ways to reuse them. Through REGAL-IR, he visited farmers in nearby Isiolo County and learned how to operate a small diesel fodder-chopping machine. He also learned how to use maize stalks to produce fodder for livestock and started producing livestock and chicken feed, which he now sells to other farmers for a profit. Boru also used the funds from REGAL-IR to purchase a fodder-chopping machine for Ksh 50,000 (USD 556) and started cutting fodder for other farmers at a fee. This has proven successful for Boru, who is now also training other farmers interested in fodder conservation.Lack of rain coupled with increased cost of animal feed has presented an enormous challenge in the sustainability of livestock within the region. Boru’s new business is therefore filling a nice in the market. “I have been able to sustain my family from this farm and now I want to expand my farming activities,” he explains.

In additional to funds, members of the Juhudi Farmers Self Help group received training that allowed them to enhance the nutritional value of livestock feed. The trainings were carried out by Extension officers from the Government’s Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI).

This project is made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this story are the sole responsibility of Adeso and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States government.