Omary’s income in 2009 was US$165, less than a dollar a day. He was better off than most small-scaled farmers in Morogoro, though. He planted maize on 2-3 acres of land, using indigenous grain acquired from friends and family. He had never thought of using fertilizer on his land. Omary was not sure about his farm’s yield.
Low quality seed, lack of fertilizers, lack of farm inputs, and poor agronomic practices have all led to low yields from East African farms. Although small-scale farmers in East Africa produce the bulk of the food that finds its way into the region’s markets, these farmers produce an average yield of only 1 MT per acre. They incur additional losses through poor agronomic practices like insufficient drying, improper threshing, and poor storage and packaging
A plentiful harvest in East Africa brings with it the challenge of selling the surplus. Notwithstanding high demand in neighboring countries, farmers are often unable to sell their surplus grain. Unlike large companies that carry out meticulous research on market opportunities, small-scale farmers barely know the meaning of business terms, and have long depended on middlemen or the government to buy their entire surplus.
The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi is proud to announce that 46 Kenyans have been invited to participate in the first ever Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) Washington Fellowship. These outstanding young Kenyan leaders will travel to the United States in June with over 450 other young African leaders for a six week program at one of 20 prestigious U.S. universities, and will participate in a conference in Washington, D.C. hosted by President Obama.
Based in Nairobi, USAID/East Africa (USAID/EA) provides assistance across borders, supporting innovative regional programs.
Last updated: April 28, 2016