Nuru Kenya Builds Capacity of Farmers Amid COVID-19

Nuru Kenya Builds Capacity of Farmers Amid COVID-19

The year 2020 was a critical year for many organizations, including Nuru Kenya. Against the backdrop of seemingly endless challenges created by COVID-19 and the necessary restrictions imposed to maintain safety, Nuru Kenya’s work continued. Nuru Kenya worked with 11,000 people to increase crop yields, increase incomes, and strengthen rural agribusinesses. 

As COVID-19 emerged last spring, the sale of agricultural commodities stalled in rural Kenya due to public safety restrictions. This happened at the very moment rural businesses and cooperatives were aiming to sell late 2019 harvests at peak prices. Simultaneously, Nuru Kenya staff noticed that as farmers were witnessing food shortages and fluctuating costs in local markets, they were becoming paralyzed by uncertainty. Some Nuru farmers contemplated drastic short-term solutions, such as selling off farmlands. Land ownership is a critical asset to their livelihoods. Selling off the land would have meant hunger, lack of income, and possible displacement. Nuru Kenya took to the airwaves to promote agriculture as a longer-term solution. Through SMS and radio messages, Nuru Kenya reminded farmers of the importance of planting for their livelihoods and food security for their own households and the community at large.

Nuru Kenya did not merely survive the challenges presented in 2020. With fierce dedication to Nuru farmers and farmer organizations, it rose to the challenge with notable achievements, including supporting farmers to increase their crop yields by 38%, while Nuru dairy farmers increased their milk yields by 57%. These increased yields ensure farmers have enough food to feed their families.  They also ensure there is enough surplus to sell in order to increase income and support the local food system. Nuru farmers increased their income by $333. This achievement alone helped not only support farmers through a dire season, but also supported continued resilience to future shocks. Furthermore, by promoting healthy behaviors, Nuru Kenya was able to achieve a 24% reduction in under-five child mortality. 

Nuru Kenya’s ability to achieve impact amid unprecedented challenges is a testament to the local leaders and the adaptive programming that they have established–programming that ensures that vulnerable farmers do not go overlooked when food systems are strained and resources are thin. We are excited to share the 2020 Nuru Kenya Impact Report with you, which details Nuru Kenya’s remarkable achievements, including those noted above. 

About Tacy Layne

A lifelong West Virginia resident, Tacy graduated from Fairmont State University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in English. Following graduation, she worked as a marketing administrator for an advertising publication. In 2015, inspired by travel to Malawi, Africa, Tacy began work in the nonprofit sector as a writer/editor for an international nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the orphan crisis. Moved by the realization that extreme poverty is the leading cause of family disruption, Tacy joined Nuru International in 2018 to support fundraising efforts, donor relations, and communications. In her spare time, she enjoys training for marathons, whitewater rafting, skiing, and occasional foraging.

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