Farmers Adopt Arrowroot Farming Upland

Muchiri, a member of 3K group, explains how he set up his arrowroot farm in a raised section of his farm (Gituamba)

Most farmers have a misconception that arrowroots can only be grown in the wetland areas. As a result, arrowroot farming is usually considered to be the role of women, while the men engage in farming other crops in the upland.

“In early 2020, I participated in an exchange visit to Mataara in Gatundu North Sub County where I saw that arrowroots were being grown right outside the house, and for me I have always known that arrow roots can only be planted in the wetlands. So when I came back home, I looked around my homestead and noted that there was a section at the back of my house that had iron sheets and was not being utilized.”

Edward Muchiri, a small scale farmer.

Although he still had access to a wetland, the arrowroots that are planted there are usually considered to belong to the woman of the house.

“You see, men are not involved in the planting, harvest or even sale of arrowroots… I decided to utilize the space behind my house to plant arrowroots and see if they will grow. My wife later harvested the arrowroots, some of which we ate, while others were sold off. These arrowroots were able to reduce my costs of buying food in my home.”

Paulina (far right) who also practices upland arrowroot farming with run off water from the roof (Mataara)

RODI continues to encourage farmers to adopt arrowroot farming in raised sections of the land. Noting that this will not only improve crop diversification especially for those without access to wetlands, but also encourage farmers to utilize the small sections within the homestead for agriculture.