KATA Hunger Project is going to help struggling Women Farmers in Kenya by Empowering, teaching and training them to be better more efficient farmers so they can provide for their family year around

The KATA Hunger Project has teamed up with the Women Farmer's Association of Kenya❤️ to help make things better.  

"Our organization will offer our full support to KATA's manager Florence Kimiti and the KATA Hunger Project," says director Winnie Muriithi.  "We will empower, help educate and train women to be better more efficent farmers so they can provide for their family year around."

KATA Hunger Project will provide four kilos of home-grown fresh fruits and vegetables per week per family member selected for the program for 13 weeks.

"This will gives these women three months to get things going for the future," says KATA director Bob Anderson.  "With the food we are providing plus the training we think the success rate will be high."

These women need to know what crops to plant, what fertilizer to use, how to deal with the water issue and tricks of the trade. These are just some of the things they will be taught over the 13 weeks period. When they pick up their free food weekly, they will get 30 minutes or more of training as well. 

Bob Anderson leased two acres of land for three years not far from Embu on August 1 to get things rolling. There were some fruit trees already on the property, but they were not well maintained. The rest of the land was not being used for anything.  There are 30 banana trees, 11 mango trees and two avocado trees on the property and with better care they will produce a lot of fruit for the KATA Hunger Project.

"After securing the two acres, we first addressed the water situation," says Florence. "We have dug a well for water and are building a barn giving us a place to process and store the food."

With the solar panels and backup batteries, thanks to Brock's sponsorship, water can be pumped from the well to irrigate the crops in between when there is no rain. The solar panels will take care of all electrical needs.

"The area where the KATA Fresh Farm is located gets a good amount of rain fall annually.  The soil is fertile and additional acres can be secured as we grow. And there are many farms nearby we will partner with to assure we have the amount of fresh home-grown food we need," says Florence the on-site project manager.

❤️ "As we work with the women farmers in our 13-week program we will be able to offer many of them a source where they can sell any excess fruits or vegetables," says Bob Anderson. "Beyond what they need for themselves and their family.  We will offer them a price above market."

"Our KATA Hunger Project is focused on helping women farmers have a better life," says Florence.  "But we do have many issues we need to address as described by this article from IPS."  

Nairobi, Sep 27 2022 (IPS) - A two-year-old child cries hysterically as his mother attends to customers standing in front of her stall to buy vegetables on the outskirts of the Kenyan capital Nairobi. The mother, 25-year-old Esther, who refuses to give her surname for fear her husband will know that she has spoken to strangers about family issues, sells spinach, onion, tomato, garlic, and green pepper at a street corner to supplement her husband’s “meager” construction wage. It has been four years since she started the business, and she says it is beginning to feel like an eternity.

“I might be a village girl, but I have big dreams and ambitions, which unfortunately are being hampered by my selfish husband,” the rural-born, uneducated woman tells IPS through a translator.

Esther does not have an identity document (ID), which represents the first obstacle to her dream coming true. According to a FinAccess February 2022 report published by Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Kenya, 87% of the people in this East African nation without ID in 2021 are between 18 and 25, compared to 69% in 2019. There is the highest incidence of lack of national identity cards in Kenya’s rural areas, mostly among women, and that has more than doubled since 2019, says the report.

It would appear that even if Esther had an ID, her husband would not allow her to get a loan due to Kenya’s misogynistic and patriarchal mentalities that put men in control of all household’s financial decisions.

“My husband says he is the boss of the family, and therefore he must manage all the money that comes in and advises how it is spent. All he knows is to count my money every evening, I don’t see his pay slip, and I totally ignore how much he earns, except to tell me that he earns very little and that my business is vital to support his income to help pay the bills,” Esther says emotionally, looking from left to right for signs of her husband’s return from work.

(Photo) KATA manager Florence with Winnie from the Women Farmer's Association at the KATA fresh farm near Embu

Many observers believe that women’s financial exclusion in Kenya is not only a matter of having an ID or a chauvinist husband, but it is also about financial institutions’ unfriendliness towards impoverished women like Esther.

"On average, women are less educated than men, earn less income, and own fewer assets which makes them less likely to be considered or targeted in design of finance solutions,” state Wanza Mbole Namboya and Amrik Heyer, two financial inclusion specialists of FSD Kenya, in an analysis published in March 2022.