Text by Anna Steindl Communication, Public Relations, Web
Joyce Okwara’s life has changed fundamentally since she started reading TOF (The Organic Farmer).
Together with 15 other women, she has built up a successful agri-business. It all began in 2012 when Joyce Okwara from Nambale in Kenya came across the TOF Magazine for the first time. Out of curiosity she tried the agro-ecological methods, which promised high yields without the use of chemical fertilisers or pesticides. With success – her knowledge of simple, affordable and at yet eco-friendly methods paid off. My yields are much higher than they were from conventional methods,” says Joyce Okwara.
Together instead of alone
Joyce told other women of her success. They were very interested and so she set up a women’s group, the “Great Sisters Women Group”. Its aim is to exchange knowledge and experience of ecological farming and so secure food supplies and provide healthy food for the community. “As a group we can simply achieve more,” says Joyce (read her story in the current edition of TOF). The TOF articles have taught us new, effective ways to deal with a range of agricultural challenges,” she continues.
From the TOF magazine, the women learned how to prepare their land, make compost and grow plants. To aid community learning and local gardeners, Joyce offered a piece of her own land for a Mandala garden. Using an ingenious but very simple system, the garden grows a large number of edible plants on a small plot. This type of garden is ideal as a kitchen garden; it also looks very attractive. The high yields have convinced the women in her group that the system works.
Future prospects are good
Joyce and her 15-strong women’s group have built up a good business and even sell their ecologically produced fruit and vegetables to schools. However, most important of all, the women are able to feed their own families and pay their children’s school fees. From her income, Ms Okwara has also bought a silo for maize storage so that she can store surplus produce for future use. We wonder where the TOF advice, tips and tricks will take the women in future and await with interest news of future developments.