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A change in diet brings a change in health for Kenyan farmers

As key partners to FAO’s ISPP project, the extension workers from the Ministry of Agriculture have trained the farmers in conservation agriculture techniques, nutrition-sensitive crop production and utilization and aspects of agribusiness.

©FAO/Sebastian Liste

“Before, our food was like poison in our bodies, but now it is like medicine,” says Eunice Wango Manga, a farmer in Kitui County in Eastern Kenya. Her family and community are among the beneficiaries of an FAO project to make smallholder households eat better and grow foods that are more nutritious.

Eunice, 45, is one of 26 members – all but two of them are women – of a farmers’ self-help group.  In late 2017 the group started receiving food and nutrition trainings as part of the FAO’s Increasing Smallholder Productivity and Profitability (ISPP) project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

“Before, I was not able to walk long distances. We had a lot of sickness in our family; we would go to hospital frequently,” says Eunice, who is married with three children. “But now we are healthy and very active.”

The money they used to spend on hospital visits, Eunice and her husband are now spending on school for their children and on their farm. Recently, they bought a water pump for irrigation, saving them the cost of hiring someone to pump water to their fields.

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