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Marsabit pastoralists adopt rice farming as alternative income stream

rice farmers in marsabitMore than 50 pas­tor­al­ists at Ja­ra­jara, Marsabit County have ad­op­ted rice farm­ing and they are happy with the new ven­ture which is earn­ing them al­tern­at­ive cash boost­ing their in­come as op­posed to de­pend­ing solely on pas­tor­al­ism which their tra­di­tional farm­ing prac­tice.

With the help of United States Agency for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment (USAID), 25 farm­ers ini­tially went for train­ing at Mwea Ir­rig­a­tion Scheme.

The farm­ers cur­rently have more than 65 acres under rice cul­tiv­a­tion whereby very farmer owns at least an acre in the scheme.

“I get close to 10 bags in per acre of land which is sold for Sh5,500 and this has been earn­ing me ad­di­tional in­come as I do not rely only on live­stock,” said Habiba Mo­hammed, a farmer at Ja­ra­jara.

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In ad­di­tion, the farm­ers also get fod­der for his live­stock from the rice stalks after har­vest­ing and thresh­ing the grains.

This en­ables him to spend less on the an­im­als feeds and be­sides sells the fod­der for other live­stock keep­ers for more cash.   

“I’m en­joy­ing more profits be­cause I also get to make hay from the rice stalks and sell at Sh300 a bale,” says, mother of six.

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