The golden grass

Share This Post

Improving the welfare and lives of people in the most vulnerable situations due to various factors such as climate change, is a tremendous and rewarding feeling. In most cases projects are initiated and implemented in various communities aimed at solving a specific problem, to better the welfare of the community at large. Through donors, foundations and people of good will in funding such initiatives, we have witnessed and been involved in remarkable change in communities that have benefited from such programs.

Field work involves direct engagement with the communities and working together to achieve a certain goal. However, community dynamics vary as a result of cultural differences and when working with them flexibility is demanded to suit the respective culture. Some communities are more welcoming than others, while others show hostility even when the relevance and benefits of the project are clear to them. Although there has been a major shift in community perceptions regarding new technologies and new ways of living, the communities living in ASAL areas have displayed a low rate in adaptation due to retrogressive cultural believes.

DRIC Program in Isiolo County is a European Union (EU) funded project whose main agenda is to contribute towards increased resilience to drought and other impacts of climate change and improve the nutrition status of children under 5 years. The program supports five value chains: fodder, honey, livestock, poultry and camel milk.

In the fodder value chain, commercial production was among the key areas of interest. One of the project objectives was to introduce fodder production and align the activity with entrepreneurship to increase food for livestock and increase income generation thus improving the livelihoods of local households.

The beneficiaries selected were mobilized into groups to facilitate resource pooling, quantity production and ensure strong bargaining power through group marketing. They were then taken through a series of trainings ranging from group dynamics, technical fodder production and seed bulking and entrepreneurial training. These trainings bored results that were captured during the monitoring and evaluation exercise carried conducted between dates 19th to 20th April 2021 by National Drought Management Authority in company of consortium field staff.

The beneficiaries demonstrated the short-term effects and projected the long-term benefits of the fodder intervention strategies in the targeted areas. According to Mr. Hassan, Chairperson Rapsu fodder producers in Kinna ward, “During the extreme drought seasons, we used to import fodder from Laikipia County which is quite a distance from this place. Through the trainings we have been enlightened on new ways to increase fodder production and we have seen that it is possible to produce it here.

More specifically, in the area of entrepreneurial training, fodder producers were taken through break even analysis which demonstrated fodder production as profitable entity particularly in ASAL areas. For instance, it was established that the group needed to produce only 183 bales a year on a one-acre piece of land with assumption that a bale will be sold at Kes. 300. However during monitoring and evaluation, farmers reported having sold a bale of hay in Kinna at Kes. 600, which was double the projected price and Ksh. 800 in Cherab ward, this had a great impact in achieving the breakeven point and ensuring profitability for the farmer. It means the group will only be required to produce 92bales to reach the breakeven point. The exciting statics demonstrated the impact of the entrepreneurial training and the significance of group negotiation and bargaining while making pricing decisions. This is a great opportunity awaiting most fodder producers in ASAL areas which will then increase income as well as providing an alternative to animal feeding solutions in those areas.

The E4impact Entrepreneurship Center working on drought resilience in Isiolo county, is an EU funded project working together with value chain actors in developing sustainable Business Models with the aim of creating entrepreneurs alongside the most valuable value chains in Isiolo county.


By Ekea Leonard

E4Impact Business Coach

Isiolo County-Kenya



Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore