Lona Abok, a 53-year old grandmother from western Kenya, had exclusively planted maize and beans to feed her family and never gave much attention to growing vegetables.
To help her daughter realize her dream of going to college, Lona has been supporting her five grandchildren. After hearing about the DIG program, and the opportunity to earn extra income, Lona got involved.
She planted a small vegetable garden near her home, and graduated from DIG’s Farmer Field School program equipped with a whole new way to work her land.
DIG’s program makes regenerative farming accessible to anyone, anywhere. Based on the belief that you should do no harm when farming, regenerative agriculture goes further to advocate that farming should actually regenerate and revitalize the land and the environment.
It is common practice to incorporate animals into regenerative agriculture, which interested Lona, as animals would also bring more opportunity to earn additional income. For many of the farmers DIG prioritizes, accessing animals is financially out of reach. DIG aims to create opportunities for graduates to supply markets and find opportunities they couldn’t reach before.
Since Lona was consistently earning roughly $25 per month selling her excess produce, DIG encouraged her to scale-up her farm business. With a DIG micro-loan, made possible through our partnership with TCP Global, (a Returned Peace Corps organization focused on microlending), Lona received a $50 loan to buy 67 one-day-old broiler chicks.
“My chicks feed my farm and my farm feeds my family. I manage them together,” says Lona.
Lona took good care of those chicks and sold them five months later for $5 each, making more than enough money to repay her loan. She successfully repeated the process four times, before she was extended a $100 micro loan to purchase 200 day-old chicks and expand her vegetable farm.
Lona is most proud of her ability to now support her daughter’s dream to attend college. “My farm made this possible.”