Skip to main content

A second grow – Nancy’s Story

By Practical Action On 08.07.2024 FarmingBlog

Kenyan agripreneur nurtures vegetable business back to life with Practical Action

Nancy Kavinya began growing African leafy vegetables back in 2012 for subsistence and to supply her neighbours and local vendors. 

She was confident that the favourable climate and abundant market opportunities in the lush Vihiga County in the Hamisi Sub County of Western Kenya would allow her to thrive. Sadly, other responsibilities forced the 34-year-old to abandon farming. 

But then, in January 2023, Nancy joined the Resilient Agriculture that Works for Young People (RAY) project, a Practical Action initiative to offer training in regenerative agriculture and business management, while also offering advice on and access to investment, land, equipment, and markets.

The mother-of-three received comprehensive training in regenerative agriculture techniques, mentorship, entrepreneurship, and gender empowerment. 

The knowledge and inspiration she gained from these sessions reignited her ambition. Now, what started as a modest venture has blossomed into a thriving business that not only sustains her livelihood but also empowers and inspires others in her community to consider the business opportunity farming presents. 

Nancy now shares her expertise as a mentor to 15 women and 10 men and has also connected to new markets to sell the harvests, such as nearby hotels, schools, and vegetable vendors.  

She said: “Agribusiness is the way to go! If you have the resources, grab the opportunity and you will enjoy the fruits of your labour.”

Through RAY, Nancy was able to enter the poultry market and used the extra funds to build a modern coop for her chicken, a dairy shed for her cattle, and in turn this venture contributed to her being able to more easily afford school fees for her three daughters. 

She now employs four young people on her farm and her impact ripples through the community, showcasing the promise of a more sustainable and prosperous future.