For a long time, when Lydia Waweru ventured into her fields she was met with the discouraging sight of dry soil. Without enough rain, her crops were failing—and her much-needed income was diminishing.
Like many farming families in rural Kenya and other areas of Africa, Waweru and her children depend on good harvests to survive. Changes in climate have only added further difficulty and unpredictability to their livelihood. Some seasons bring too much rain; others, too little.
“You can imagine the stress when you plant your seeds and you want to grow something, and then the rains don’t come,” says Stephan Lutz, a program consultant with World Renew in Kenya. “For the first season, you might have some stored food or some cash, maybe some animals to help get you by. But every time the rain doesn’t come, it adds stress to people’s lives and makes it harder for them to recover.”
To meet the many challenges of a changing climate, farmers must adapt to survive.
Through World Renew’s training in environmentally friendly conservation agriculture, farmers are being equipped to minimize tillage, maximize soil cover, and strategically place crops to reduce pests.
Waweru went through this training with great enthusiasm and then put what she had learned into practice on her farm. When the first year wasn’t successful, she consulted with program staff to make necessary changes. She diversified her crops and ensured that there was enough mulch cover using organic matter to keep the soil moist.
Finally—encouragingly—Waweru saw a dramatic change in her crop yields, even in seasons of poor rainfall.
“My land is now productive,” she said. “I am a happy mother who can provide my family with a variety of food, which is healthy and nutritious. I meet my household needs, and I can serve God and our church with what I have produced from my farm. I have made significant income, and with it I have managed to construct a permanent house.’’
For Waweru, climate-adaptive farming combined with the ongoing mentoring from World Renew has been life-changing. She is deeply grateful to those who helped equip her for success, including World Renew staff, partners, and supporters.
Today, this hardworking mother and thriving farmer finds herself more hopeful as she heads into her fields to see what’s growing.