Titus Cheplong is a 27 year old resident of Tendwo village, Ainabkoi Sub County in Uasin Gishu County. Farming is his main source of economic activity. When Titus got married, he decided to start a small scale maize and vegetable farming. He did this for a while, but realized he wasn’t getting good returns. “I was struggling to meet my family’s daily needs. We could get food from the farm but could not afford other necessities utilized to prepare the food and other basic needs that needed money. Thus, I ended up borrowing from my mother to sustain my small family.” Say Titus.
Titus’ tribulations went on until his brother, who was a SEAL member at Tendwo secondary school introduced him to I Choose Life-Africa (ICL) . He got interested and joined the SEAL training. During the sessions on economic empowerment, Titus was empowered with knowledge and skills on how to raise capital for a business, how to save and agribusiness management. He committed himself to the training and with support from the SEAL program, the trainees formed a group named Tuamke Jiinue Group. The group became a table banking group where they could save and borrow money to improve their livelihoods and expand their businesses. Through the knowledge and skills gained, Titus decided to shift to commercial farming for better returns, so that he could not only provide food for his family but also sustain the family’s needs and save for future investments.
“Through the Jiinue group I was able to get a loan of 12,000 shillings to expand my farming business. I tilled more land and engaged in farming of passion fruits, potatoes and beans”, Titus Cheplong
With a capital of Kshs.12000 obtained through selling of vegetables, Titus started his journey towards his goal of making money through farming. He used the capital to expand his vegetable farm, till the land and buy more farm inputs. That season, he enjoyed a bumper harvest and made a profit of KSh. 10,000 from the farm produce. He was very excited and decided to do more. According to Titus, “through the jiinue group I was able to get a loan of 12,000 shillings to expand my farming business. I tilled more land and engaged in farming of passion fruits, potatoes as well as beans, in addition to the vegetables that I had started with. Today, I am a happy man because ICL- Africa completely changed my life through the SEAL training on economic empowerment. I am now able to fend for my family as well as save for the future of my children.”
Besides farming, Titus has taken time to educate his family including some relatives so that his community is also empowered like him. Titus plans to save and buy a plot which he will use to build rental houses and expand his farming.