Wilson Opemi, Sorghum Farming Project to give Western Kenyan Women Financial Might

Once a staple crop, prized for its nutrient density and yield, Sorghum is now less commonly farmed in Kenya. However, East African Team Member, Vincent Atitwa met Wilson Opemi, a skilled farmer and trainer who believes that this crop remains a viable way to not just feed local communities, but to lift women farmers out of poverty.

Vincent says: “African agriculture has the potential to spur growth, reduce poverty and transform millions of lives. Yet a wide and pervasive gender gap in agricultural productivity has hindered the sector’s development and broader growth. Women farmers face numerous economic, cultural and institutional disadvantages, and consequently, produce less per hectare than their male counterparts.Thus women farmers are our target point in this project.”

Wilson will train farmers on organic cultivation methods, teach them storage and processing techniques, and provide a revolving loan program for tools and materials which will give farmers the ability to form groups and produce  sorghum on shared land. By working together and capitalizing on new farming technology, this project has the potential to  contribute to the economic and social health of these communities, while serving as a leader in showing how smallholder groups can connect directly to the market in Western Kenya to lift up communities without leaving anyone behind.

This flow fund grant will purchase tools and materials that will allow the farmers to cultivate the crop and safely harvest and store their products.

Date grant awarded: October 14, 2016