From humble backgrounds, a Kenyan widow, Elizabeth Dumas has gained international recognition following her Amazing farming technique which turned a Arid-semi arid land (ASAL) into an agricultural cash cow.
A native of the Khilifi county which is notorious for its crop failure owing to unfavorable weather conditions, the amazing woman in her mid 50s has just accomplished a no mean feat. By practicing conservative farming, Dumas is proving to be the change wind of change in the county’s agricultural sector.
Following the death of her husband and persistent pressure to marry her husband’s brother as is the culture of mijikenda, Dumas fled to her matrimonial home in Ramada, Adu ward where she was faced with having to fend for herself and her five children.
She resorted to begging for relief food from the chief of the village and later took up maize farming after receiving a piece of land from her father.
Like other farmers, she failed as the crops had to contend with consecutive periods of drought and competitions from weeds.
In 2015, she was invited for a one week intense training by the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation(FAO) on how to practice conservative farming.
At the end of the training, with just Sh6000 and one acre of land, Dumas decided to practice all she had learnt by cultivating cowpeas which she sold and earned Sh75,000 in return. That was the turning point in her life.
Three years later, the mother of five can boast of three dairy cows, five goats, well educated children and even a few cash to spare.
When news of her achievements got to the UN headquarters in Nairobi, Dumas was was invited over to make a presentation in front of high profiled individuals, both local and international.
“I am a widow but I earn more than others who have husband’s and still practise traditional farming. If the community embraces conservative farming, no one will sleep hungry or complain of farming “she said.
Well Done Elizabeth Dumas We Celebrate You!