Name Marimba Vision Farmers Self Help Group
GGN 4050373604158
Country Kenya

Profile

Marimba Vision Farmers Self Help Group (MVFSHG) is a producer group located at Nkubu, Meru County, in Kenya. It was started by a group of farmers mostly women. Currently, the group has 30 members (14 women, 8 youth and 8 men).

The main objective of the group was to start peas farming through sustainable agricultural farming.
The pioneer members of the group were 14 women who, through their merry-go-round contributions, thought of starting an agricultural activity in order to sustain their livelihood. Without technical knowledge, they started farming peas and selling to willing buyers in the open market.

It was, however, not without challenges especially in securing soft bank loans to buy farm inputs, technical agriculture advice, and ready market. The challenges would later turn to be success pillars. As such, MVFSG approached three key stakeholders; Equity Bank of Kenya, Bayer Crop Science, and Indu-Farm (EPZ) Ltd in an effort to secure aforementioned three key pillars.

Also, considering the every dynamic market regulations especially in matters of food safety, the move was imperative. Having seen the group’s determination, Indu-farm (EPZ) motivated it to have a centralized administration, build structures (grading shed, chemical/fertilizer stores), offer technical advice on agronomy issues and ultimately provide a ready market of the group’s fresh produce. Equity Bank of Kenya came in handy as a provider for soft loans to the farmers in order to buy farm inputs. Bayer Crop Science provides technical advice on the use of chemicals to keep pests and diseases in check and improve production.

The group has survived the test of time and members have demonstrated their efforts by going for GLOBALG.A.P. certification which is not a mere achievement.

Achievements

The capacity of the group to start from a merry-go-round activity and form a centralized form management with administration structure, centralized office comprising of stores and grading shed has been a milestone. This has been fundamental in it being GLOBALG.A.P. certified.

As a result of what was primarily and largely a women’s initiative, the success attracted a lot of youth from the neighborhood with the current gender profile being at least 47 percent women, 25 percent and the rest men. This is evident from the number of producers assigned under their current GGN number.

The livelihood of the women and youth members has continued to change significantly over the years and they can now afford a decent standard of living, minimized domestic disputes within their homesteads due to financial autonomy, and have acquired hands-on experience by practicing Good Agricultural Practices aimed toward sustainable agricultural production.

The success of the group is a story narrated inside and outside Meru County and it acts as a role model to other upcoming producer groups.