Mr. Simon Mwangi Gakiri is a beneficiary of the DMRP project in the Matanya unit.He is a member of Tigithi Wendani SHG. Theproject is in the Tigithi location of Laikipia east Sub County
He is very grateful to the project which in his own words has “brought progress and prosperity to his locality”.
Mr. Simon Mwangi Gakiri is now able to feed his family members; his wife and two children with the produce of various crops whose seeds were supplied by the project in October (2012) and a subsequent issue inOctober 2014. He has been realizing good yields of Dolichos, pigeon peas, cowpeas and sorghum for family consumption while he sells the surplus to neighbors.
He is particularly happy with the drip irrigation kit (useful for kitchen gardening), 2,300 litres plastic water tank and a 64M2dam liner enough to cover space for 11,250 litres capacity farm pond; all supplied by the project.He grows a wide variety of vegetables including collards, mitoo (a local vegetable), spinach, sugar beets and onions for his family’s daily needs. He sells the surplus to neighbors for income. This activity gives him around Sh. 50 per day which he says is enough to buy other necessities for his family.
When Mr. Simon Mwangi Gakiri is asked how much he expects to get from his new farming initiatives promoted under the DMRP, he minces no words and in a most straightforward response states, “a lot of money”.
He is proud of Caritas Germany through caritas Nyeri for having brought total transformation of Tigithi location in regard to enhancing food security. As he looks at his healthy crop of pigeon peas which have put on huge pods and look very green and unstressed by the hot mid afternoon project site heat, he says, “indeed the crops the project has introduced in the area should have come much earlier as I was spending a lot of resources on our traditionally favored crops including maize and beans so susceptible to drought leaving us with nothing to eat”.
The root crops including cassava and sweet potatoes whose propagation material were supplied under the DMRP project have been resisting drought and have become an excellent source of food.
Mr. Simon Mwangi Gakiri says that before the project came into being, he used to spend a lot of money and time as he pursued river line farming using a motorized engine to pump water for his crop. He claims to have been suffering from frequent chest and throat infections as well as scurried body parts from biting cold.
Crop failures were common occasioning heavy losses which made him cultivate only a small portion as he left the larger part fallow for seasons on end.
He no longer hires land along the river banks and has been able to buy a small water pump to assist him pump water for his tree seedlings at a small tree nursery from sales he made from his Dolichos and cow peas produce and other project materials.
The project supplied tree seedlings and grass seeds over the 2012/13 phase which has been a source of livestock feed as the trees improve on the environment.