For many years, farmers in Makueni county have stuck to growing maize, but this has not yielded much, leaving them to rely on relief food when the crop failed and during droughts like the current one.
But now an initiative from the Anglican Development Services-Eastern and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa is encouraging farmers to diversify to drought-tolerant crops such as millet, sorghum and green grams.
Samuel Mutune, a father of seven, used to grow maize for many years, but he says he would harvest nothing due to poor rains.
He says he could hardly have enough food to eat and they lived from hand to mouth, but things changed after he attended a training organised by the development partners.
“I have stopped growing maize for green grams, cow peas, sorghum, pigeon peas and pearl millet, which are more yielding, even with little rain. Even with the dry spell, I have got food to eat and sell,” he says.