This past trip, we were fortunate to be able to meet with the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), the Ministry of Agriculture, Horticulture Crops Development (HCD) and both local and national government leaders to discuss the way forward to further assist small scale farmers. GIZ has gracioulsly given Fruited Plains a grant to train 1,000 small scale farmers in Global GAP (Good Agriculture Practices) for both passion fruit and avocado farming. Fruited Plains is currently in the process of gaining Global Gap Certification, which will make us competitive in order to sell to the global market. Once we have been certified, we will be the only organization that is Global Gap Certified in all of Western Kenya.
As always, we would like for you to hear directly from our farmers. Please see their testimonies below.
“My name is Michael. Before I did this Passion Fruit farming my life was very hard. I started harvesting in the year 2016 and since then I am doing very well. I am able to take care of my needs. I used the money to pay off a loan and to pay my children’s school fees. I’m getting ready to plant another block and I know I will continue to get a harvest from the Passion Fruits I have. You should see my farm. I have only 100 seedlings and I am getting so much from it. I make so much more from Passion Fruit then I do from onions. I am so glad Fruited Plains has been taking care of the marketing for Passion Fruits. I’m not going to look back. I am very grateful.”
“My name is Zainabu Ndiema. I am blessed with seven children. Ever since I have started farming I have never, never seen anything that pays like the Passion Fruit. I was really struggling before but now my life is so much changed. I am doing very much better than before. I want to thank God very much for this project. I really want to do even more of this because it has really helped me. I have paid school fees for my child in Form 1 (first year of high school) and bought school supplies for her. My daughter who is in university, I am able to pay her rent through the proceeds of the Passion Fruit. I am able to provide for my seven children. I am able to buy food, soap, and things for cleaning because of this. I have planted 100 seedlings. I am going to add to this. I am giving up on maize. My whole family is happy and healthy and very excited for the Passion Fruit farming. I have done carrots; I have done cabbages and maize. I have done everything but none of it compares to Passion Fruit. I want to thank Fruited Plains for giving me an opportunity to be their farmer. I promise I will continue to work hard. Many neighbors have been flocking to my home wanting to learn about this. I have been explaining to them and many want to start when the rains come.”
Zainbu shared with us she is making about ksh. 2,400 per week from Passion Fruit. She used to make ksh. 4,000 per year harvesting maize. That means she is making approximately ksh. 115,200 per year selling her Passion Fruit.
“My name is Sammy Mandg’usho. I am married with two children. I am a Fruited Plains employee. I actually have much to share about my life before I came to work for Fruited Plains. My life was a struggle. I didn’t even have food to eat. My level was just very poor. But since I have been employed by Fruited Plains I am now able to dress well. I am now able to eat and to take care of my family. I want to also share that I have been able to buy my own land. I was able to enroll to go to a driving school so I am now skilled in driving. So I am very grateful for the opportunity Fruited Plains has given me. I want to share I am now even strong in the word of God because I know Fruited Plains is about God so I am now even stronger and knowing God more. I have gotten so many skills. I know how to graft (Passion Fruit seedlings), I have so many skills. I am even certified in First Aide. I have grown so much. I want to honestly say that Fruited Plains has really helped me and my family and little children. I am now able to provide for them. Regarding the Passion Fruits, I want everyone out there to know this project really pays. Since I started harvesting, I have more money and I want to go and buy even more land. I bought a cow and named it Fruited Plains. I am a very happy family man. Even my wife is very happy and my family is very stable. Thank you very much.” (Sammy has been with Fruited Plains since 2011)
“My name is Lydia. I have eight children and I am a widow. My husband died in 2015. I started doing Passion Fruit in 2016 and started with 66 seedlings. My life was very hard when I lost my husband. So when I started doing the Passion Fruit my life started getting better. I have been harvesting very good kilograms. The money I got from the Passion Fruit I was able to pay school fees for my children. I was able to get this other piece of land to plant more Passion Fruit here so I am hopeful to be able to get more money to pay school fees. I want to take this opportunity to thank Fruited Plains very much because my life is now better. I am now able to take care of my children. I can buy food and pay school fees.”
“My name is Patrick. I am married and I have five children. I want to share with you that this is a very good project. This Passion Fruit project has really helped a lot. It is even better than onions that people of this mountain know. I want to thank Fruited Plains very much for such an initiative. I want to share how this Passion Fruit has helped me. I planted fifty of them. Out of the fifty seedlings, I have gotten a lot of money. This is something that has never happened in my life. I was able to pay my children’s school fees and with the rest of the money I was able to rent another farm for planting Passion Fruit for the next three years. I am very happy that you have come all this way to help us on this mountain. This is God’s doing because I could never imagine something like this in my life. I have really benefited from this project. Thank you so much.”