Mama Janet Okomo is a widow with a family of 12 children. She is one of the members of Rusinga Island organic farmers association who were trained in 2013 on Permaculture design practices. Since then with the help of PRI Kenya she was able to set up a Permaculture farm on a 0.5 acre piece of land.
Just like many other farms on Rusinga Island, she has been practicing a single farming season using only the long rains which start around March. Initially, she could farm only cassava, sweet potatoes and some traditional vegetables on her small farm. This kept her long waiting for harvest from only 2 types crops for a whole farming season. But after the training and support from PRI Kenya, she learned better techniques of utilizing a small area to maximize production with less input but with a variety of crops on the same piece of land. Her farm provides enough vegetables and fruits for her six sons with four grand children. She also sells vegetables from her farm with a daily income of at least 150 Kenya shillings from either vegetables or paw-paw. With this she has been able to add up to other incomes not coming from the farm to provide upkeep for her son in college. She also gets continuous supply of vegetable to her family.
With the help of PRI Kenya who indentified Moringa as an important cash crop, she has been able to propagate 184 Moringa trees within the Permaculture farm for the production of leaves and seeds which she sees as another way to maintain diversity both in terms of income and plants on the farm. Interestingly, her farm has attracted interest from her neighbors who try to mimic her design practices in the farm despite not having been trained in Permaculture.