When PanAfricare first engaged farmers in Natirae in Turkana County Kenya, their farm had been overtaken by Prosopis juliflora bushes; an invasive dry-land weed. The farm’s infrastructure had been rundown with canals overtaken by bushes and in need of desilting.
In 2020 work began on the 72-acre farm, through the support of the IMPACT Program Natirae farmers cleared the bushes and thereafter began ploughing the farm.
With Turkana County experiencing a long dry spell, there was a need to have the farm under irrigation. The process to desilt the canals started; to utilize water from the nearby River Turkwel. The one-kilometer canal was rehabilitated and paved way for water to enter the farm.
With water on the farm, Natirae was ready for farming. Through the provision of certified seeds, farming tools, and Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) training by the Program, farming began, and over the months the once bushy farm steadily turned green.
In May 2021 Natirae registered its first harvest. We visited the farm and met up with jubilant farmers in the process of harvesting.
Elizabeth Akai one of the many farmers harvesting told us that she was grateful for how things have turned out and how the harvest will benefit her and her family “I am truly grateful to PanAfricare for holding our hand. This harvest is food for my family. Any surplus will be sold, and money used to buy the household needs like soap and sugar.”
Close to Elizabeth’s section of the farm, we meet up with Esachet Nasinyono. Today she has already threshed two bags of sorghum. The mother of six is eager to speak to us, “My section is half-acre, I am so happy to harvest sorghum although I am yet to cut down all the stalks.
This harvest will feed my children and even the extended family.” Esachet adds that she will grind the dry grain using stone to turn it into flour. The flour can then be used to cook nutritious porridge.
The farm has sorghum, maize, millet, and a variety of vegetables. The farm is divided into sections where each farmer manages their individual farms.
As a result of PanAfricare IMPACT Program interventions, the once-neglected farm has been turned into a productive farm. Water from the all-seasons Turkwel river sustains the farm. Farmers are organized to ensure the irrigation canals are regularly maintained.
The IMPACT Program directly supports 20 farmers with over 150 indirectly benefitting from the Program.