Climate change being a hard reality all over the world, Elgeyo Marakwet county has not been spared. EMC has experienced a drastic decline in yields due to unpredictable and inadequate rains. But with the introduction of conservation agriculture by FTMA in EMC with a focus on ripping to facilitate maximum utilization on available soil water and eliminate erosion, farmers now have hopes.
In the beginning, farmers were not convinced because it was a new technology but those who tried have a testimony of its success especially in the wake of inadequate rainfall.
Mr. Thomas Kigen is an FSC who was trained on various aspects in Agribusiness by FtMA. A series of training enabled him to successfully run two agro-shops, potato seed multiplication & potato seed supply. In a bid to reduce losses incurred by his farmers (who are his main clients), he developed an interest in Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) he attended a training organized by PAFID on the business and agronomical aspects of ripping. He immediately practiced conservation Agriculture on his farm using a ripper from Makueni brought to him by PAFID in early 2021. He also had a chance of linking the ripping services to other farmers. His farm and the other ones he ripped registered very impressive yields. Due to that and intensive training to farmers by FTMA on the importance of CA in EMC has led to very many farmers getting interested in CA and aggregating a good number of acres before even the start of the season. This has made Mr. Kigen see an opportunity in the ripping business and vowed not to allow MSPs from other counties to come and benefit under his watch even if he didn’t have money. He approached Faulu bank for a loan of 400k but unfortunately, he got only 200k.
He approached PAFID AC in EMC for advice on how he can get a ripper at a cost of 200k. He said he needed a ripper even if it’s a second hand due to limited resources. We searched online for weeks without success. Mid this month he was able to get somebody who was undergoing financial problems and was selling his used ripper in a good condition at a cost of 250k in trans Nzoia. Kigen was able to reach him on time and was able to acquire it at 190k. This is a breakthrough and a step in the right direction for him because many farmers are ready for ripping services. Going by the current demand for ripping services in EMC, he hopes to have repaid the loan within one season.