Nyandarua and Muranga continue to be some of the counties experiencing difficulties related to gender-based violence. The lack of inclusion of women in land ownership, social inclusion and youth employment are some other challenges.
The Rural Women Economic Empowerment project seeks to socially and economically empower rural women farmers through agri-business and rural development in Muranga and Nyandarua Counties with an overall objective to contribute to reduce poverty and injustice.
When the projects started in 2018, it was noted that 68% of the mapped participants had low income levels (less than Kshs.5000 per month) and lived in mud walled houses. To ensure financial inclusion which is one of the project outcomes, GROOTS Kenya trained 40 TOTs from 19 groups in Murang’a 35 TOTs from 17 groups in Nyandarua on Group Savings and Loaning (GS&L).
As a result, the farmers shifted from a merry-go-round to group savings and loaning process (GSL). Also known as table banking, here each farmer saves at least 200 shillings per month to be able to provide loans to each other at an agreed interest over an agreed period of time.
This further resulted to farmers taking up poultry farming for faster income to meet their short-term needs.
GROOTS Kenya has established linkages between sub-county and ward level agricultural extension officers for the farmer groups. As a result, the agricultural officers visited farmers in Muranga and collected data on farming production, and developed and tested a banana curriculum. They are currently training farmers through demonstration plots with majority of the farmers slowly adapting to more resilient practices.