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Josephat’s Journey of Empowering Communities through Organic Farming

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Ten years ago, amidst the challenges of conventional farming practices, Josphat Munywoki embarked on a journey towards a greener, more sustainable future. His path was not easy, but fueled by passion and determination, he forged ahead, planting the seeds of change in his community.

Josphat’s story begins with his involvement in a group focused on voluntary savings and farming, a venture that ultimately faltered. Undeterred, he saw an opportunity to create something new, something transformative. In 2021, he rallied the people of his village, forming the ‘Kanini Kaseo’ farmers group—a beacon of hope amidst the challenges of modern agriculture.

The journey was not without obstacles. The members of Kanini Kaseo faced limited knowledge in organic farming, compounded by the harsh realities of land degradation and flash floods. But where there were challenges, there was also resilience and a collective desire for change.

Seeking solutions and support, Josphat and his fellow farmers connected with the Grow Bio intensive Centre of Kenya (GBIACK), setting the stage for a journey of discovery and empowerment. Through trainings facilitated by PELUM Kenya  and GBIACK through the KCOA Project, Josphat and his peers delved into the principles of organic agriculture and agroecology.

The transformation was palpable. Armed with newfound knowledge and skills, Josphat led the charge in revitalizing his land. Trenches were dug, raised beds were formed, and napier grass became a lifeline against soil erosion. Inter-cropping and seed saving became common practices, ensuring a diverse and resilient harvest.

But Josphat’s vision extended beyond his own farm. He shared seeds and knowledge with neighboring farmers, fostering a spirit of collaboration and abundance. Integrated pest management and innovative techniques like push and pull technology became cornerstones of his approach, paving the way for sustainable and organic farming practices.

As the seasons passed, Josphat witnessed the fruits of his labor—not just in the bountiful harvests that graced his fields, but in the improved health and well-being of his community. He embraced organic farming not just as a livelihood, but as a way of life, nourishing both body and soul.

In 2023, Josphat’s commitment to community empowerment reached new heights as he donated a portion of his land for the establishment of a community nursery, supported by GIZ. His actions spoke volumes, inspiring others to join the journey towards a more sustainable future.

Today, Josphat stands as a testament to the power of grassroots action and collective endeavor. His journey from conventional to organic farming is a beacon of hope in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs), demonstrating the transformative potential of sustainable agriculture.

In his closing remarks, Josphat reflects on his journey with pride and gratitude. “I used to farm as an option,” he says, “but now, it’s my full-time job—and I can feel the difference.”

As the sun sets on another day in Kanini Kaseo, Josphat’s legacy continues to grow, rooted in the soil and reaching for the sky. His story serves as a reminder that with determination, perseverance, and a shared vision, anything is possible.

Ratemo Bathseba
Author: Ratemo Bathseba

KHEA Project Officer - PELUM Kenya

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