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Grasses in the dry season

The three grass seedbanks in Kuku (Kenya) are doing great in the dry season! Or… should we say.. the three Maasai women groups are doing great!

These women manage the grass seedbanks and just harvested 100 kg of seeds in Moilo, 90 kg in Enkii and in Inkisanjani even 470 kg. Wow! And the harvesting is still in progress, so these numbers are rising! They will earn a substantial income by selling these grass seeds. We are impressed (again) by these women!

Generate income

Barren land can become green again, whilst earning money at the same time. The Maasai women are earning a substantial income by selling the grass seeds. With their turnover they can scale up and create even more grass seed banks.

The women from the different communities visited each other, to discuss their challenges and learn from each other. For example regarding budgeting, how to sustain the land and how to store the seeds. They’ve also discussed leadership in their own groups and general management of the grass seed banks. By exchanging all these knowledge, more women got inspired and motivated. So you can tell, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Moreover, it doesn’t always have to be green!

A great harvest!

The grass seed bank in Inkisanjani has the closest vegetation due to the fact it rained most in that area from March till May this year.

The managing women all together have harvest hundreds of kilos of seeds, and their still harvesting: the numbers are still increasing.

There are so many seeds, they needed a place to store them and so they have invested in small building to keep them dry and safe.

Learnings

Everything is going very well, but like in normal life, there’s always room for improvement. So what have we learned?

In the beginning young trees were chopped to build the fences to keep the animals out. But to compensate we’ve planted young acacia trees. We’ve also taught them to just use a couple of branches from a tree instead of chopping the whole tree down. Kinda like our Kisiki Hai method. Eventually we want to use a ‘living fence’ construction, by planting bushes and trees around the fences. We call this a win-win!

The Enkii women’s group reported they had big size problems, coming in the shape of an elephant! They entered the banks in the middle of the night and ate all the grasses. They took initiative and used a part of their turnover to invest in strengthening the fence.

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