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COVID-19 brings out the farmer in a field officer

Agricultural field officer Faith Nzivo, has learnt some hard lessons during the pandemic. From running a comfortable profession in Murang’a County, circumstances changed her perspective towards life and made her turn adversity into opportunity.

Prior to COVID-19, I was working as an agricultural field officer for a private company in Murang’a. When COVID came, I was not very lucky and lost my job as the company could no longer sustain me. In addition, my work involved a lot of engagement and gatherings which were restricted during the lockdown. My cash flow was hit. I had to do something really quick.

And so Faith decided to divert her savings to agriculture in her rural home, Makueni. This led to the birth of Fereen Chicken, a farm of ‘kienyeji’ chicken.

“When COVID made me jobless, I decided to go back home and start my own farm. I used my savings to construct a facility that can hold up to 400 chicks, ” Faith said. “To begin with, I was able to purchase 55 chicks of which I sold 30 and retained the rest.”

One of the biggest lessons the pandemic has taught me is that nothing is permanent. Everything is constantly changing, and understanding and accepting this reality gives us the ability to look past negativity.

As she put this lesson to practice, she said, “I had to survive. I had to choose between paying rent and establishing a permanent source of income.

Fereen Chicken is a dream come true paired with my adamant belief that one must always do what gives them a sense of satisfaction, and a positive impact on the people and environment.

Faith said she would like to help empower the youth in her community view farming as a profitable business and not a hobby.

She said in many ways the pandemic has forced her to think outside the box and through her enterprise, she is ready to offer free training to anyone willing to venture into agribusiness.

Today, in less than eight months, she has been able to grow her business and get better returns to sustain her family and also create employment for one youth – her brother.

The quality of her chicken has also offered her an upper hand in the market as the demand keeps rising each day.

Faith is also grateful for the partnership with KCIC and hopes that it will help her install solar incubators and refrigerators at her farm to increase productivity and efficiency.

Fereen Chicken is a project that I started for sentimental reasons and by a stroke of luck, I found that farming is where the money is.