Supporting Inter-generational Rice Farming in Kenya

Lucas Odhiambo Oduor has been a rice farmer since he was a child, supporting his grandfather and father’s farming business. Now in his early thirties, Lucas is a married father of three children. As the first born in his family, he is also responsible for supporting his parents and siblings.

Before 2012, marketing was never an issue for Lucas’ family since up until that time, the Kenyan National Irrigation Board would procure the rice produced by the farmers. Since that practice stopped, Lucas and his family have faced challenges selling their products directly to market.

To help address market and production related challenges facing rice farmers like Lucas, in 2018, MEDA partnered with rice processor Magos Farm Enterprises Ltd. through the M-SAWA project. This was funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC). Through this partnership, Magos provided Lucas with various technical trainings on rice farming, such as rice seedling varieties. Through his engagement as an out-grower agent, he acquired skills on fertilizer application. Rice farming is input intensive; therefore, Magos Farm Enterprises Ltd. has been instrumental in providing the right quality and quantity of inputs on credit, which helped boost his production.

Training in good agricultural practices (GAP) taught Lucas about crop rotation and soil management and gave him the skills and knowledge he needed to start growing maize for subsistence use. In the future, he hopes to introduce additional crops as an alternative source of income.

This training and support have led to improved harvests and incomes for Lucas. He grows rice on a 3-acre piece of land. During the October 2020 harvest period, he harvested sixty-two, 80 kg (176 lb) bags of rice, earning over 150,000 KES ($1,319 USD) in profit.

Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lucas is able to sell most of his rice to traders in Uganda; however, he hopes to expand his sales to Magos as their capacity to absorb production increases. He is grateful for the trustworthy relationship that he has cultivated with Magos Farm Enterprises Ltd. that allows him to access credit services and intends to continue working with the company.

“I want to continue rice farming for the rest of my life because it is the only thing I enjoy and know how to do,” Lucas said. He hopes that his children will continue to work in the family business. Challenges such as annual flooding and Quelea birds remain but the assistance provided by companies like Magos is essential to help farming businesses like Lucas’ not only survive but thrive for generations to come. This assistance will continue to play an important role in enabling businesses like Lucas’ to adapt to both business and climate change-related shocks.

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  • Janet Mumassabba

    Janet has 8 years’ experience working in the development sector supporting SME enterprises' growth. Currently, she is the Regional Operation Manager for MEDA's LEGEND Project in Kenya. She holds an MBA in Strategic Management, a bachelor’s in enterprise development and Management and Accounting skills.
    She is a highly motivated self-starter organized and detail-oriented, a team player with multi-tasking and analytical skills, possessing written and verbal communication skills to effectively interact and communicate with all levels of management, staff, and clients. She

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