Moyale is a market town on the border of Ethiopia and Kenya, and is split between the two countries.
Communities living there are well known for practicing pastoralism, however, until you visit the area, no one would imagine that some of the inhabitants are good farmers too.
This is Tesso areas of Somero Location in Moyale.The area are mainly occupied by Oromo and Sakuye people who majorly speak Borana. They are assumed to be pastoralists since time immemorial, and that their livelihood mainly depends on herding. Our arrival here however seems to be proving us a bit off beam.
The residents are busy in the farms, trying to catch up with the rains. I get to interact with them and here i learn that they are keen on farming as a group and not individual affair. They were enlightened on different farming techniques by the help of world vision
Through the organization, the occupants came together and formed an agricultural project group, dubbed FFA,and through the project, the group has been able to open an account for saving funds acquired from sales of their products.
The group cultivates varieties of crops; tomatoes, maize, beans, kales and millet among others. The tomatoes are specially cultivated inside a greenhouse to avoid destruction by direct sunlight.
On the same note, they were enlightened on different ways of maintaining the soils to avoid erosion, for instance formation of terraces, and this has aided them to keep hi-breed crops, that are least expected to perform in such areas.
In his sentiments, Adam Gollo who is the assistant chief of Tesso Sub-Location noted that, there is no excuse of saying that crop farming do not thrive in the area due to varying climates. The region experiences 4 rainy seasons and the weathers are very responsive.
They plant the crops in stages, for flow of production. For instance, maize plantation is done in three stages. They usually use oxen’s in farming, so as not to necessarily wait for tractors to cultivate the lands. For a good harvest, they garner at least 20-50 kilograms of maize.
Before the residents indulged into farming, they mainly fed on meat daily since livestock was their main source of wealth, and fire wood selling was their main dealing that enabled them purchase unga. But since they began farming, they can now achieve a balanced diet
Their passion for agriculture is clearly depicted from how they vehemently attend to their plants. While some use their hands in uprooting weeds to keep the garden clear, others fellows use hoes to do the same.