From house wife to business woman with agroforestry

Beatrice Wamalwa Namisi, went from being a housewife to a businesswoman. She is practising agroforestry and a range of sustainable agriculture land management practices – while putting food on the table and supporting her family.

Beatrice lives with her husband, a retired deputy headmaster, on their farm in Tembelela, Malakisi in Bungoma Kenya. She has been a member of a partner organisation, Agro Environmental Farmer Association (AGEFA ) since 2011, receiving training in agroforestry, sustainable agriculture land management practices, and entrepreneurship.

– What I have learned about agroforestry is that it provides us with adequate food on the table and money in our pockets, says Beatrice.

But it hasn’t been easy. Climate change and its effects are visible in the area.

– Irregular rains ruin so many families’ crops. Heavy rains and hail storms destroying the crop one year, while absent rains lead to lack of water for the animals the next, sighs Beatrice.

Beatrice and her husband are practising crop rotation. They are growing maize, sweet potatoes, cassava, bananas, legumes, and highland rice.

Soil erosion control, water harvesting, and mulching are other visible SALM practices on the farm. And everywhere there are trees.

– Agroforestry has saved us. Yesterday there was a storm. Without the trees, the house would literally have been blown away.

Beatrice is also a member of the Tembelela Tissue Culture Banana women’s group as well as a village saving and loan group.

– I am proud to say that I have gone from being a housewife to a business woman,  and now am able to support my retired husband, says Beatrice smiling.