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Smallholder farmers may be poor, but they live a quality life

Smallholder farmers lack money but they enjoy peace of mind

There is no better place to spend a weekend than in the rural areas visiting small scale farmers and participating in their daily activities. 
2020 is an year of abundance for smallholder farmers in Kenya. Smallholder farmers may be poor, but they live a quality life.

Last weekend, I traveled upcountry to see my parents, grandparents and I also said hi to several neighbors, all of whom are small scale farmers. 

If you live in a city like Nairobi, then you will never fail to appreciate the serenity of the rural life. If there are people who eat healthy food and enjoy nature, then they are small scale farmers living in the rural area. Everything they eat is grown on their own farms (apart from cooking oil, sugar and salt). And whatever that one does not grow, is most probably grown by the a neighbor next door. 

The only challenge that they face is that they have to do most of the farm work manually, which is very tiresome. 

This is a pictorial article. I will give you a tour of my farm visits using pictures:

2020 is an year of abundance for smallholder farmers in Kenya. Smallholder farmers may be poor, but they live a quality life.

Farmers wake up early to work as they wait for the breakfast to be served on the farm. You don't eat and work, you work  then you eat.


Everything in that breakfast is gotten from the farm apart from sugar. Fresh goat milk is a common recipe.
2020 is an year of abundance for smallholder farmers in Kenya. Smallholder farmers may be poor, but they live a quality life.


Grazing of the dairy goats is also a fun activity, especially when they prefer to be spoon-fed instead of grazing.
2020 is an year of abundance for smallholder farmers in Kenya. Smallholder farmers may be poor, but they live a quality life.

After I was done with the goats, which belong to my mum by the way, I went visiting her one-acre wheat plantation. As you would expect with a good weather, the wheat field is healthy and promises a bumper harvest. Now, my only hope is that she will get a combine harvester on time. I will be there to witness the harvesting. The combine harvester will have to be extremely small because at some point it will need to pass between trees, as you can see there are Cyprus trees right at the middle of the farm. 
The adjacent plots have maize and beans which belong to my grandmother. Economies of scale completely lacking. It could have saved them some costs if they had grown the same crop in all the plots. But this is the typical practice of small scale farmers. They want to grow everything!
2020 is an year of abundance for smallholder farmers in Kenya. Smallholder farmers may be poor, but they live a quality life.

Everything that is eaten in our rural home is grown on the farm, so there are plenty of vegetables and fruits inter-cropped in the same plot. This is the case with most farmers in the area.
Cabbages, tree tomatoes, cassava, stinging nettle, sugarcane, rosemary, avocado, banana, beehive etc
Cabbages, tree tomatoes, cassava, stinging nettle, sugarcane, rosemary, avocado, banana, beehive etc
You also get a chance to massage the cow and milk it later. Animal's comfort is not yet assured as you can see the cow is very muddy due to a wet sleeping environment.
2020 is an year of abundance for smallholder farmers in Kenya. Smallholder farmers may be poor, but they live a quality life.

Before the sun sets, I had to ensure that the chicken are well fed. The following day I thanked myself by converting one bird into a delicious lunch.
2020 is an year of abundance for smallholder farmers in Kenya. Smallholder farmers may be poor, but they live a quality life.

And when darkness sets in, its always a born-fire night in a wooden gazebo spiced with maize roasting activities!
2020 is an year of abundance for smallholder farmers in Kenya. Smallholder farmers may be poor, but they live a quality life.

This is how smallholder farmers' life looks like. It is a life of quality especially with regards to what they eat. The only problem is that they are unable to monetize this serenity. I propose that all urban residents should start paying small amount to the rural community as a way to appreciate agro-tourism. 
Unfortunately, every time  you go to rural areas, things are not always as beautiful as I have portrayed them. This year the weather has been beyond optimum for crop growth. 
Now that every farmer is expecting a bumper harvest in a few months, I have my fingers crossed because the harvesting and post-harvesting will be the maker or breaker of food security in Kenya.


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