Cassava is a crop that has been perceived as poor man’s food crop for many years without understanding that, Cassava is ‘Green Gold’. Farmers in Makueni however opted to venture in cassava farming to try their luck after being victims of frustration and losses incurred in events of poor rains. The crop is transforming lives in the county with farmers reaping up to 50,000 shillings per acre.

Dickson Ndaka a 67 year old elder of Yi Kiuuku Village made his final decision to venture in the enterprise.The idea was not well received by some of his neighbors who opted to stick and watch Mr Ndaka try his fortune.

Four years ago, Ndaka walked into the Ministry of Agriculture’s offices in Wote to request for cassava tuber for planting. Armed with zeal and hopes to try his luck and acquired twelve bags of tuber from Kenya Agricultural livestock and Research organization (KARLO) formerly KARI which he planted in his two acre farm.

Dickson Ndaka harvesting cassava in his farm

After eight months, Ndaka would harvest three tones of Cassava making an income of Ksh 96,000 part of which he paid school fees for his four children and the rest ploughed back to the farm.

According to Joseph Masyuki, Chairman Mbuvo Commercial Village, the cassava plant is able to mill 500 kilos per day. The Rockefellers Foundation has since launched a Cassava innovation Challenge which is aimed at addressing food loss and spoilage in the cassava value chain.

The challenge will provide up to $1 million as well technical assistance to help further develop solutions that increase shelf life.

READ ALSO:   Carrot Farming Stories From Small-holder Farmers In Kisii County


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