Kenya has been experiencing adverse weather conditions in recent years and livestock farmers in dry areas have been greatly affected.
However, all is not lost as they have been advised to venture into chilli farming since it is better suited for areas that experience a lot of heat and has better proceeds.
In Kajiado County, for instance, over 100 farmers have begun growing chillies and are enjoying the fruits.
According to Arnold Ole Kapurua, who has two acres of the fiery pods, well-managed chilli farms can produce an ongoing harvest over six months, with an acre of land producing up to two tonnes of peppers a week.
Such a harvest can fetch Ksh80,000 a season, he said.
“That cannot be compared to livestock rearing as one cannot afford to be selling a cow every week thus making chilli farming a better option.
“With time we realised that we weren’t making good money as our livestock income stagnated.
“During the drought we lost our herds to hunger and diseases while during the rainy season we lost some to floods making us live on a lean budget.” But after a bit of research, “I realised that chillis had climate-friendly features,” he was quoted by The Standard.
Solomon Simingor, another farmer in Kajiado County, divulged that a farmer with at least two acres of land can earn as much as three times more with chilli than with cattle, in his experience.
Several agriculture experts in the area have encouraged farmers to plant chillies as they offer a workable alternative for herders in drought-stricken areas.