Farmer Succes Story: MARY WANGUI MWANGI
News out of Africa
Mary is the mother of eight children and works full time on the farm while her husband works as a matatu driver. She grows maize, sorghum, boma rhodes, beans and vegetables in her 2 acre piece of land. Mary suspected her land was not fertile, because she could plant but her crops were not doing well. She explains: “Maize was thin and highly susceptible to diseases. It could even turn yellow at a certain stage”. Mary told SoilCares that there was a certain portion of her land where nothing used to grow at all. “I could plant and add all inputs, but I never used to harvest anything”. When she received training from SoilCares through her local dairy cooperative she decided to test her soil.
After Mary tested her soil it turned out her soil was extremely acidic. She was advised to use lime, organic manure and CAN. The report also showed her land was suitable for growing sorghum, which she never used to plant. After following SoilCares recommendations she planted sorghum in 0.1 acre piece of land which could previously not sustain any crop and harvested 50 kg of sorghum.
Mary is a member of Tarakwo Dairy cooperative, where she received trainings on soil testing and savings and credit from Heifer International in conjunction with SoilCares Africa. The cooperation has now bought SoilCares handheld Scanner which they are using to do their own soil analysis.
The profit she got from selling her sorghum, she paid school fees for her kids and bought a calf. Mary plans to increase the acreage for sorghum and boma rhodes, so that she can venture in commercial milk production.