Interviews with small-scale farmers in Kenya

You call me Peter Nyae Nyoroge. I was born in 1945 in Embu County. I live alone on my farm. I eat everything which grows on my farm like corn, macadamia, arrow roots, sugar cane, cabbage, tomatoes and potatoes.  I am very proud to be a member of KOAN everything grows naturally without pesticide.

My farm, encompassing one acre, is not big. Because of my grown up macadamia trees I had the opportunity to join macadamiafans in November 2011, even if three of my seven trees are not that good. I really appreciate selling my nuts for a better price than I did before. I would like to introduce my neighbors to this project, too.

I do like macadamia nuts but like everything that grows around me. I have learned to live with few things and I am happy. Since I sold my cow I buy meat from my friends.

I grew up in Embu County but I left 1969 to Mombasa, where I sold toys out of wood and soap stone which I produced myself. But I always knew that I would become a farmer as my parents used to be, too.

My name is Jane Njiru Wangai and I am living in Kenya, Embu County, since I was born in 1941. I grew up at this farm and originally wanted to become a nurse. This dream did not come true because of the war of independence in Kenya from 1952 until 1963 and thus I finished school in 1958, got married and started farming. I learned to love the work, even if today I have to manage everything on my own just living together with a lazy cock.

Of course I have some children but they are already living their own life. The girls stay with their families somewhere else. My sons are busy men, too. One of them is a taxi driver in Nairobi. The other one is a trade’s man but lives with his wife just next door. My daughter-in-law was also the one who convinced me of participating the seminar about organic farming and joining macadamiafans in October 2011. I have about 20 macadamia trees on my farm and particularly love to climb them to harvest the nuts. Besides macadamia I grow corn, beans and coffee.

My name is Rachel Muthoni. I am 45 years old. As an Embu I live in Embu County since I was born. My parents were tea and coffee farmers. In 1978 I moved to the farm where I live now. There live five more people on this farm: my two children and grandchildren and my husband. The farm work is done by me.

I have got a cow and few chickens.  On my ¾-acre-farm I grow many different plants like coffee, corn, banana, macadamia, avocado, papaya and beans. My fourteen macadamia trees were planted in the 1980s. Before I became a farmer I used to trade with vegetables on the markets. Later on I could realize my childhood dream and became a farmer. In November 2011 I got the opportunity to become a member of Macadamiafans. Since I decided to join them I belong to their organization.

My favorite Kenyan dish which is to be recommended is a mash of potatoes and bananas.

Interviews: Welt:Klasse Gröbenzell 2013