The Women and Youth in Climate Change Oriented, and Market-Focused Farming Enterprise (INCOME) will be implemented in Kieni east and Mathira sub Counties, Nyeri County; Kenya. The project will directly benefit 1,000 farmers and indirectly reach an estimated 4,200 people over a period of twenty one months. The project is designed to address the problem of low income levels among women and youth in Nyeri where decreasing land sizes and drought is a threat to agricultural based livelihoods.
The overall goal of the project is to double the annual incomes of the targeted women and youth from agriculture related activities.
The project will create employment opportunities for rural women and youth by taking advantage of local and regional strawberry market. The estimated total strawberry production in Kenya is 1487 tons while the demand is over 15,000 tons (Horticulture Validated Report, 2014). It is worth noting that 90 percent of strawberries (fresh and pulp) are imported into Kenya (Horticulture Crop Development Authority).
This project seeks to bridge in the above mentioned importation gap by promoting “farming as business” among women and youth in Nyeri County through introduction and scaling up of strawberry value chain. Unlike the staple crops grown by most women, strawberry is a high value cash crop that can be grown in a small parcel of land and is less labor intensive. Once established, strawberries are harvested 2- 3 times a week throughout the year for up to three years when a cycle change is made. From the smallest farm of 50 ft. x100ft (or 1/8 acres) a farmer will earn a minimum of USD 14,000 over the production cycle. It is an ideal high value crop for both youth and women as it earns regular income and has less labor demands. The project is therefore designed to address low income problems that affect both women and youth. The project goals will be achieved through two project outcomes and outputs.
- Women and youth groups have improved capacity to provide essential services and advocate for their members interest in strawberry value chain.
- Targeted strawberry producer groups (women and youth) have strong leadership and management systems in place.
- Targeted youth and women strawberry producer groups provide financial services to members.
- Targeted women and youth groups provide collective grading and marketing services to members.
- Targeted women and youth groups provide clean and high yielding strawberry propagation materials to members.
- Targeted women and youth groups provide agriculture extension services to members.
- Targeted women and youth use services provided by their groups to undertake farming as a business
- Targeted women and youth farmers adopt recommended good agronomic practices for commercial strawberry production.
- Targeted women and youth farmers use recommended good agronomic practices and high quality planting material to improve productivity (quality and quantity) of strawberry.
- Targeted youth and women strawberry farmers increase savings from strawberry sales and get linked to financial and farm input providers.