By Regina Laub and Susan Kaaria, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
It’s another typical day for Josephine Keremi. She’s up at sunrise, spends her morning scurrying around the house preparing meals, washing clothes, and gathering water and firewood. All this before her three children and husband wake up to begin another long day in the fields to harvest sweet potatoes and beans for the local market.
The Keremi family lives in a village called Kaithango. It’s located in the Eastern province of Kenya. This region receives very low rainfall throughout the year. This causes many headaches for Josephine and other rural farmers like herself. It not only sparks arguments between them over the use of scarce resources, it also translates in being unable to produce enough food to feed themselves and their families on a daily basis. In fact, many households in her village frequently go hungry or go long stretches without food. Many of whom she knows personally.
Luckily for Josephine, she’s in a position to make a difference in the fate of her people. She leads a group called Maendeleo Farmers’ Group, which is composed of men and women farmers from her remote region near the highlands of Kenya. Most of them are farmers with small plots on which they produce barely enough to feed their families.