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 A portrait of resilience

 

Is it possible that delicate horticultural crops such as okra, radishes, cucumbers, watermelons, tomatoes and dill would thrive in the harsh weather conditions in Turkana County in northern Kenya?

 

Welcome to Mohammed Khadir’s farm, a section of a larger three-acre plot managed by AAH-I in Kakuma. Mohammed left Darfur, Sudan, during the war in 2012. Tasked with the responsibility of taking care of his wife and ten children, he looked for opportunities to utilize his skills in crop farming as an alternative source of livelihood while living as a refugee in Kakuma. Mohammed learnt how to farm in Darfur.

 

AAH Kenya farm 1 .jpg

With AAH-I’s Esther Ekure, Mohammed Khadir inspects radish from his farm 

 

Cucumber at AAH Kenya farm

Cucumbers from the farm

 

He heard about the AAH-I project on supporting innovative and sustainable livelihood interventions in agriculture and agribusiness, contributing to self-reliance for refugees and host communities in Kakuma of Turkana West County. As Wada Azum group, Mohammed joined other refugees and formed a group comprising 10 members (1 female and 9 male). They were allocated land space at the AAH-I plot and had a one-week training on group formation and dynamics, agriculture and agribusiness, farm record-keeping and marketing.

 


 I enjoyed the training on farm record keeping - Mohammed Khadir 


 AAH Kenya staff at farm

AAH Kenya’s Agriculture Project Officer, Peter Cheptumo (centre) looking through member records at the farm

 

“The training was beneficial to me, especially the module on farm record keeping. I did not have any experience in keeping good farm records. But I can now track my expenses and income, and use the information to plan for any farm improvements. The records also guide us in doing good agricultural practices,” says Mohammed.

 

Esther Ekure, AAH-I’s Assistant Agriculture Extension Officer, says that they are supporting farmers in crop husbandry management that include crop spacing, weeding, pest/disease control management and pre and post-harvest handling management. “Pests are a big challenge to crop farming in the area and we spend time educating farmers on integrated pest disease control management.”

 

Collectively Wada Azum makes KES. 32,000 from vegetable sales monthly. The produce is sold right at the farm, and the surplus sent to market centres in the area. They also share the produce among their households.

 

The AAH-I livelihoods projects is supported by UNHCR.

 

 

Inspiring story ahead of the World Refugee day.