In Summary
  • Lokichar in Turkana County is home to the country’s oil resources, with British firm Tullow carrying out exploration activities in the dusty and dry region.
  • The expansive county is entirely arid and dominated by pastoralists, with most fruits and vegetables sold in the area sourced from neighbouring Trans Nzoia and Uasin Gishu counties.

Lokichar in Turkana County is home to the country’s oil resources, with British firm Tullow carrying out exploration activities in the dusty and dry region.

But despite the aridity, a group of farmers going by the name Achukule Agroforestry Group are working hard to earn from the soil.

On this day, they converge on their farm to prepare drip irrigation pipes ahead of planting.

Each of the more than 70 members of the group has a small plot carved from a five-acre farm, where they grow collard greens (sukuma wiki), pumpkin, watermelons, peas and traditional vegetables under drip irrigation.

The expansive county is entirely arid and dominated by pastoralists, with most fruits and vegetables sold in the area sourced from neighbouring Trans Nzoia and Uasin Gishu counties.

But poor road networks have not only made commodities costlier, but the farm produce arrives in the region withered.

Achukule farmers are keen on tapping into the huge market in the area.

Rael Akeno, a member of the group, explains that they started in 2011 with 40 people and were farming on two acres. The number has now grown to 75.

“Every member is allocated six rows where they grow vegetables for their household consumption and sale. We do farm preparation as a group, agree on what to plant – vegetables, tomatoes and watermelons and plant the same day to get the volumes. We sell our produce in Lokichar Town, less than a kilometre away,” explains Akeno, noting they have leased the land.
Since it is in the middle of shrubs and acacia trees and with the community comprising mainly pastoralists, the farm has been fenced off with chain-links to keep off intruding livestock.

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