Bicycles increase business growth and savings

Janet milking one of her cows.

Limited access to transportation and challenging roads are affecting the lives of people and communities in rural Kenya. Public transportation tends to be expensive, unsafe, and crowded. In addition, access to social amenities and markets is a major challenge to most farmers, discouraging them from making trips to the markets. This has been worsened by the increase in fuel costs. 

Janet loading milk to the back of her bicycle.

CDF Canada’s Bicycle Initiative through the VOICE for Women and Girls Program has helped offset these challenges. Janet is one of 177 participants who received a bicycle. She is a dairy farmer and hairdresser who recently diversified her business by adding cereals and eggs to her sale items, thanks to the bicycle provided to her through CDF Canada’s initiative. She states her income has increased due to business expansion and the savings generated from reduced transportation costs.  

“Were it not for the bicycle, I would not be able to diversify. The bicycle enables me to transport eggs and cereals to the market at no cost. I save approximately Ksh 0.350 ($4 CAD) on transport in a day,” Janet said. “Apart from transporting farm products to the market, the bicycle has come in handy in transporting manure from the cattle shed to the maize and bean farm. This also saves me from buying fertilizer, hence saving on farm input.”  

She added that her children go to school consistently without worrying about being sent back home for not paying tuition. She has also renovated her house with the additional savings, upgrading to a more modern and practical living space  

Through the Bicycle initiative, men, and women from three counties – Narok, Homabay and Migori – received bicycles, which go a long way in assisting women who carry multiple responsibilities and face many challenges to access markets and social amenities. They now access farm inputs and transport their products to the market at no extra cost. 

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