Women under the Agriculture Training and Vocational Education Training (ATVET) program in Kenya have told a group of visiting Malawians how they have been able to transform their lives with the project.
The project aims at promoting agriculture technical vocational educating and training with support from Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). It is funded by the German
Government through GIZ. And the Mutondori group, which comprises 33 members-27 women and 19
men, says it has achieved a lot through farming,
as championed by the ATVET project which emphasises on agriprenuership and value addition. During a field visit to the Embu farmers group, located some 140
kilometres from Nairobi, secretary for the group, Dorcas Wamboi, said the ATVET project has given women a new meaning and status in life as they are now able to make banana crisps, among others.
“Before this project, we were just farming anyhow, there was no procedure. We were like sheep without a shepherd , but when the Kenya School of Agriculture, identified people to work with and began
teaching us issues of agriprenuership and value addition, our lives changed for the better and we will never be the same,” she said. Another farmer, Justus Muchangi, has integrated his farming and now
practices mixed farming. He has a cattle kraal, and from it he is able to use the dang and spray it on his banana field.
He also has macadamia and coffee is his field. According to him, the training has given him focus and he is able to not only keep book records, but also value his products while ably taking care of his field in a modern way. “I planted over 30 bananas and in the years to come, I will plant more.
Through the trainings, we are able to focus on products which fetch high prices at the market, a good example is macadamia nuts. “Last year alone I made over $120 000. It’s a good thing for me because I have renovated my house and grown the farming business even further,” he said. One of the lectures involved in the development of the curriculum and also piloting the project, Gathiru Muhunyu said, it was imperative to have the ATVET Project in Kenya as it helped in synchronising agriculture and technical trainings.
“This project has been beneficial in so many ways, our students are able to understand the business concepts-agriprenuership and value addition to products. We are happy that Kenya was chosen by GIZ to be part of this pilot project,” he said.