Knowledge of sustainable agriculture helps Kenyan widow improve family livelihood

Reading Time: 3 min read

As a widow with seven children in her care, Millicent Achieng Onyango relies heavily on her farm for both sustenance and income generation. With support from COL’s Lifelong Learning for Farmers (L3F) programme, this 42-year-old villager from Kenya learned about sustainable agriculture and improved her family’s quality of life.

Through training facilitated by COL’s partner, the Siaya Seed Savings and Credit Cooperative (SACCO), Millicent gained knowledge in horticulture and poultry management.  With assistance from the SACCO, she was then able to raise capital to buy chickens and seeds. In just a year, Millicent has doubled the number of birds reared while using only inputs from her farm. She is selling vegetables to buy chicken feed and is making use of poultry manure for fertiliser on her farm.

According to Victorine Atieno, Siaya Seed SACCO Manager, L3F not only equips farmers with knowledge that meets their day-to-day needs, but also instills an understanding of the impacts of their activities on the environment.

Millicent has now learned to plan her farming activities to have a steady income flow to support both the poultry and the horticulture enterprises and wants to expand her business to better support her children’s needs. She has become a role model for her community and regularly shares her knowledge with peers.

Professor Wale Adekunle, COL Adviser: L3F, noted: “COL is working across the Commonwealth to connect farmers with social and financial networks and provide them with lifelong learning opportunities. Millicent has become a committed development broker and is now helping lift others out of poverty.”

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