Anne increases rice production

21-01-2014 Nambeya Anne, aged 45, is a female married rice farmer with 2 boys and 4 girls. The eldest child who happens to be a girl is 22 years and her last child (boy) is 4 years old. Anne already has 6 grand children. Since 2010, when she joined Isoka District Rice Association (IDRA), she says "I have never regretted joining and being a member". I have seen my children benefiting from knowledge and skills I got from the association. Anne could not imagine that she would be able to manage her big family. She said: "I'm able to send my children to boarding school and even to college thanks to my income out of rice farming, thanks to IDRA, who empowered us through rice trainings.

Before her husband used to do casual work from the neigbourhoods.  We could hardly get enough food to eat at home leave alone school fees which was still low by that time.” As a family, working relationship with my husband was not good. Each person was doing work on her/his own with no cooperation or informing one another. We owned only 9 chickens where we could sell and get some money for school fees of our children. Rice production was extremely very low. I was growing only a half Lima of rice where I could get 4-5 bags of 50kgs. We had land but there was no one who could train us to produce quality rice and in large quantities. All what we produced was for home consumption, which sometimes where not enough due to use of poor agronomic practices that led to low rice yields. The family did not have combined vision for the future; each one had his/her own direction. Anne stated that other neighbouring families’ situation was not different from what she was facing. Anne, with other members formed a rice group, staff from the association trained them on better methods of growing rice. Originally, Anne and her friends were using broadcasting methods and other traditional methods of rice growing. But they learnt dribbling of rice, planting improved seeds and other improved methods of rice growing. In 2010 Ana was able to increase from a half lima to one lima where she harvested 8 bags of 50kgs. This was the beginning of Anne’s business. In 2012, she cultivated 2 limas and from each Lima she harvested 15 bags of 50kgs and in 2012, from 1 lima she got 20 bags of 50 kgs. Increase in yield attracted the husband to be more engaged in rice production than working outside the farmer. “I have time with my husband now, from the garden we all go home to feed our pigs and chicken”. Anne’s family has 25 chickens and 2 pigs. They sale piglets to get money for school fees of their children. “I am happy I have been able to send my children to better schools since I started my rice business”. One of her children has finished college and he is teaching in Kasami, three are in a boarding secondary school and 2 are in primary section. In 2011, after selling part of the harvested rice, Ana convinced her husband and they bought 1 piglet as additional source of household income. One of the greatest assets Anne has is record keeping and she has already put down what she wants to grow the coming season, what she expects to get and where she expects to sell.

Anne still has a dream of constructing a permanent house. She now lives in a grass thatched house which she says is uncomfortable. With improved cooperation with her husband, she will achieve her dream. One of her greatest challenge is the distance where she fetches water for domestic use. She thinks water problem may not be solved in near future.

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