Not long ago, mum of two Beatrice Abukayot used to support her young family with an income she earned from the back-breaking job of ploughing other people’s fields. Today, the 34-year-old is a farmer and entrepreneur in her own right.
On her one-acre farm situated in Busia County in Western Kenya, Beatrice – who received farming training and quality seeds from Self Help Africa – grows enough cassava to feed her family and to sell a surplus.
“I used to work as a hired hand on other people’s farms. I’m now an entrepreneur in my own right. Self Help Africa provided me with cassava cuttings and taught me how to grow it commercially.”
The Tongakona co-operative sells cassava on behalf of about 3,000 farmers in the Busia region, enabling them to access new markets and get a fairer price for their produce. Beatrice has seen the benefit of selling through the local, member-owned institution:
“It enables me to reach a wider market and because the cassava is processed by the cooperative, I can get a better price. I also receive my payment promptly upon delivery,” she explains.