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Success Stories

 

WOMEN MAKING A LIVING FROM VALUE ADDITION

HISO Young Farmers Women Group is located in Karamani Location, Chuka Igambangombe Constituency, Tharaka Nithi County. It was started in the year 2012 and registered with social services office (government of Kenya) in March 2013. Members comprised of young women came together for social support. They engaged in agricultural activities with a common table banking activity. They introduced weaving and small scale processing activity which aimed at adding value to locally available materials for marketing. Currently they are doing SOYA Bean flour and sunflower oil processing.

The main drive for the young women was to take charge of their destiny by engaging themselves gainfully. The aim was to start a common project with the accrued savings. In 2012, they operated a merry go round activity where each contributed ksh. 200. They graduated to table banking to promote savings and borrowing by members who paid back the loans with 10% interest rate. They made a project proposal for funding through Ministry of Agriculture NMK funds and they were able to purchase a Posho mill with the funding. Through WEF funding they acquired other simple milling machines that enabled them to start soya bean processing. They have expanded to sunflower processing. WEF also supported to get KEBS certification. They produce own soya beans and sunflower from their farms. From the project income they managed to set up small projects for each member ranging from groceries, general shops, clothes shop, dairy farming, and cereals stores. Currently each member saves a minimum of 500 shillings at the bank.

The group has borrowed twice from WEF i.e. ksh.100, 000 and ksh.200, 000. The group members are now able to pay school fees for their children, afford better food and improved nutrition through provision of soya and sunflower products and pay for essential services through income generated from their individual businesses. With their products certified by KEBs, their market access has improved tremendously for instance they sell to the local supermarkets, local retail shops and other outlets.

With savings from the projects incomes they have bought land and aim to erect a structure for their processing plant to relieve them from rent expenses. Two member have built their own homes as other have expanded businesses and aim to buying land. The challenge of raising school fee for children, catering for food, health and other essential needs is no longer a headache to the young women who were previously idle like all the other women in the village.

The young women like many others trying to develop enterprises to be self-reliant faces some challenges such as:

  • Poor market prices
  • Problem of levies and relocations in the market place (unreliable or lack of decent working space).
  • Inadequate capital for expansion of the projects

These challenges would require immediate relevant intervention by players who appreciate the role women pay in entrepreneurship development in the country. The women have future plans ranging from land ownership by members, modern shelters for members, and to start a greenhouse for horticulture farming.

HISO group members

HISO group members

Members operating soya and sunflower processing machines

Members operating soya/sunflower processing machines

soya processing machine

Soya processing machines

A member at her shop

A member at her shop

 

 

 

 

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