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Farm Radio Weekly is a news and information service for rural radio broadcasters in sub-Saharan Africa. It is published by Farm Radio International.

Farm Radio Weekly

Ugunja Community Resource Centre involved in farmer trainings

The Ugunja Community Resource Centre in Kenya is one of Farm Radio International’s broadcasting partners. They have been writing stories and producing audio, and are in the process of setting up a community radio station. They were recently involved in the Commonwealth of Learning’s (COL) Lifelong Learning for Farmers (L3 Farmers) program. The L3 Farmers program in Kenya enables farmers to gain knowledge and access financing, leading to significant improvements in livelihoods.

The Commonwealth of Learning is an intergovernmental organization which helps developing nations access quality education and training. The following story is summarized from the June 2011 issue of Connections, COL’s newsletter, and was originally published in the January-February 2011 issue of the Ugunja Community Resource Centre newsletter.

“After Mrs. Immaculate Awino Ouma and her husband were displaced by civil unrest in Kenya’s Central Province in 2008, Mrs. Ouma got involved with L3 Farmers and joined Juakali Women’s Group or JWG, a self-help farming organization. She received various trainings from Ugunja Community Resource Centre (UCRC) and Siaya Seed Sacco, a community banking co-operative. Two months later, Mrs. Ouma applied for a business start-up loan and launched a poultry business with 200 birds.

“I’m very grateful to Siaya for training members of JWG on poultry keeping and management,” she said. “Now, I’m able to sustain myself economically by selling my birds to the nearby market, and I’m now eyeing the bigger market.”

Mrs. Ouma had little previous classroom education. Helped by the trainings, she is now thriving in her new venture. Mrs. Ouma sold 180 of her first stock – 20 of them were lost to disease and other problems en route from the supplier. After buying the birds for 100 Kenyan shillings each and selling them for 350, Mrs. Ouma declares, “I’m a happy woman now.”

She advises more farmers to embrace the booming poultry business. Her farming organization has constructed 16 poultry houses to prepare for implementation of large-scale poultry keeping. They have asked UCRC to continue with training and support to ensure a sustainable and stable community. Thanks to L3F and partners, Mrs. Ouma has quickly made the transition from displaced person to entrepreneur.”

For the full story in Connections, visit: http://www.col.org/news/Connections/2011jun/Pages/inAction.aspx

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