Farming Our Way: A Look at Lwanda Junction Yetu CBO’s First Anniversary

Members of LJYCBO at a past event. In the middle is their goat project. PHOTOS/FILES
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Members of LJYCBO at a past event. In the middle is their goat project. PHOTOS/FILE

As hard economic time strike the world with unemployment, crime and drug abuse among the youth during the pandemic, there still remains elephants of hope for women and the young generation to shape the future.

Many youths still languish in the tutelage of relying on white collar jobs to earn a living, but this is not the case atv Lwanda Junction Yetu Community Based Organisation (LJYCBO).

The CBO, mostly comprised of youthful men and women, marked its first anniversary over the weekend since being founded by members of a local WhatsApp group in Bungoma County.

Registered to provide social empowerment to youths and women in the society, the CBO’s first project was to engage in goat keeping.

A spot check by this writer shows the group currently has close to 60 goats and even though the members aimed to have 100 goats in their first year, the Covid-19 pandemic slowed down that pace.

100 GOATS

Group Chairperson Ms Umi Maloba takes care of the beautiful goats in her firm located in the outskirts of Bungoma town with the support of the other group members who pay the project a visit. When you find her feeding the harmless “family”, you may think they are her own and hers alone, hehhe. Being the chair, she leads by example, showing selfless passion for the coveted project.

Due to the crowd control to curb the spread of the novel Coronavirus, the members were not able to meet over the weekend to celebrate the humble milestone as most of them are scattered in many parts of the country but oftenly hold their virtual meeting using the internet.

But is goat rearing the only project they have? Not of course; the group also run a table-banking programme where members contribute shares to the group’s bank account.

FINANCES

The group is so organised with structured leadership that no one even handles cash, instead, all the contributions are channeled to their bank account, giving the treasurer a breakfast time to track and balance her books.

LJYCBO also runs a Welfare kitty where all the 52 members contribute towards the kitty to carter for any emergency needs amongest members like sickness, weddings, funerals as well as new-born gifts.

They are also known to engage in giving back to the society, organising various charities to children’s homes in Bungoma.

Other projects the group wishes to engage include dairy farming, bee keeping, crop as well as inhouse money lending. This, the CBO believes, will boost income generation for it’s members in the near albeit financial constraints.

This comes at a time when the County Government of Bungoma on 17th of September, 2020, signed an MoU with the Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) towards supporting women and youth agribusiness enterprises in Bungoma County and the broader Lake Region Economic Block. This is a first in a series of MoUs that KCIC will be signing with a few selected counties.

AGRI-BUSINESS IN SIGHT

Bungoma is among 8 counties whose youths and women are set to benefit from a Sh5.6 billion European Union facility to support agribiz.

The programme seeks to give more leverage to Kenyan youth and women in agri-biz and feather a conducive environment for job creation in the agricultural sector.

β€œWith this wonderful programme, youths and women have a chance to showcase their prowess in farming with a stable funding from the European Union and Denmark already in place,” said the CECM for Agriculture Mr. Mathews Makanda.

AgriBiz is a five-year programme funded by the EU and Denmark (Danida) at a cost of Kshs 5.1 billion to support 2,400 women and youth-led agribusiness enterprises across the country and lead to the creation of 17,000 job opportunities.

Already, KCIC has onboarded 200 agribusiness enterprises, who are now receiving support from KCIC’s central Hub based at Strathmore University in Nairobi.

Edward Mungai, the Chief Executive Officer at KCIC said: β€œBungoma is endowed with great agribusiness potential. By tapping into the potential of youth and women, our intention is to increase smallholder production that will have a ripple effect on household incomes and food security as envisioned in the government’s Big Four Action Plan.”

Potential value chains in the county that will receive support will include poultry, sweet potatoes, dairy, horticulture, soya production among others.

Bungoma County Governor, Wycliffe Wangamati, said: β€œAs a county we are excited to sign this MoU under the AgriBiz programme. The programme will help the county as well as the surrounding counties to strengthen the ability of community-based self-help groups, Agri SMEs as well as start- ups to improve their agricultural productivity, contribute to food security and nutrition as well as having better market linkages”.

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As they say, chance and opportunity favours the prepared mind.

If you have any youth group or CBO project that you would like us to feature in our subsequent coverage, kindly feel free to contact us via the email. – Editor

(Be your brother’s keeper during this fight against Covid-19 by wearing a MASK and keeping social distancing. Email us news tips to info@wakajuaness.com or WHATSAPP us to +254711611347

Simiyu Wakajuaness

Simiyu Wakajuaness is the founder of this news site, a scriptwriter, actor and stage director with ardent passion in media and public relations in this digital world. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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