Rural Manitoba woman chosen to participate in documentary sharing highlights, challenges of farming in rural Kenya

Thursday, March 14, 2019


Manitoban entrepreneur and farmer Colleen Dyck will be spending one week on the farm of Kenyan farmer Lucy Anyengo to learn about the joys and challenges of farming in Kenya. (Photo: Submitted)

Colleen Dyck of Niverville has been chosen to spend one week on the farm of a female small-scale farmer in Kenya by Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

Colleen’s experiences and learnings will be documented in a short video to be released in the fall.

The purpose of the video is to take viewers along on Colleen’s journey as she connects with Lucy Anyengo, who farms on less than one acre of land on the Uganda/Kenya border.

Over the course of a week, Colleen will work on the farm alongside Lucy, take part in daily chores, and learn about some of the joys of small-scale farming in Kenya—as well as some of the challenges. Those challenges include everything from dealing with a lack of rainfall and unpredictable weather, few social security nets, and poor soil fertility.

“I’m looking forward to learning, being stretched, and forging a new friendship with a fellow mother, farmer, and entrepreneur,” says Colleen. “Her day to day reality is so different from my own, but despite our differences I fully expect that discovering our similarities will be the richest part of this journey.”

Colleen is an entrepreneur, farmer, wife and mother from Niverville. Her family runs a 14,000 acre grain and oilseed farm. She also founded and runs an energy bar business.


Lucy Anyengo (right) participates in a project of Foodgrains Bank member World Renew, where she is learning new farming techniques and sharing these techniques with others in her community. (Photo: Submitted)

Lucy is also a farmer, entrepreneur, wife and mother from western Kenya. She earns a livelihood by farming on just under one acre of land. She and her husband have five children between the ages of three and 17. She participates in a project of Foodgrains Bank member World Renew, where she is learning techniques to improve the quality of her soil, better manage pests and erratic rainfall and increase her crop production. She is a ‘trainer-of-trainers’ and shares these techniques with others in her community.

Research shows that if women farmers had access to the same productive resources, such as land and seeds, as male farmers, hunger around the world would decrease by about 12-17 percent. Women are more likely to use their increased income to send their children to school, and to purchase nutritious foods.

Launching in the fall, the video will be used to demonstrate how a small investment in the lives of women farmers can unleash their potential, with lasting impacts on families and communities.

“One of our hopes for this video is that Canadians, including decision makers, will see that empowered women farmers are vitally important to ending global poverty and hunger, and that they will support increased aid for agriculture, especially for women,” says Carol Thiessen, Foodgrains Bank senior policy advisor.

To learn more about the project and to receive updates on when the video will launch, visit www.foodgrainsbank.ca/woman-to-woman

–Amanda Thorsteinsson, Communications Coordinator