Nancy Okello, an astute business woman, mother and farmer, is 50 years old. She has been married since 1986, has seven children and one grandchild that she takes care of. Nancy, is the second wife, and part of the land she shares with her husband has been divided between the first wife and herself.
Nancy took the PDC course in December to learn better methods of taking care of her farm land and home land. When I met Nancy in December, she already had a small orange orchard, the beginnings of a food forest, a small kitchen garden and several acres of farm land below her home where she is growing sorghum. She grinds the sorghum and sells the grain at two local markets and tells me it is a good business.
Since the PDC in December she has been establishing a small food forest, a larger kitchen garden and intercropping the sorghum with cowpeas. She lets her chickens forage in her food forest. Through the workshops over the past several months, Nancy will start incorporating Sesbania, which is great for intercropping with cereal crops and for IPM. She is not using any chemical pesticides or fertilizers and is instead using liquid manure.
Nancy’s goals are to expand her food forest and to bring in more ground cover crops, thereby improving the soil and allowing her more opportunities to grow other types of vegetables and medicinal plants in her food forest. She also wants to start a small seedling nursery and expand her fruit orchard.
Currently, the practice on Rusinga Island is to only grow for one season although there are plenty of opportunities to have rotational crops, etc. Nancy, wants to try another crop after the sorghum has been harvested by sectioning off a small piece of the farmland, fencing it in and experiment with other crops that she could sell at market.