A loan of $5,725 helped to pursue further studies.

Tobiko's story

Hello World! Meet Tobiko, an ambitious, presentable, taut, 26-year-old Maasai Extension Officer at Juhudi Kilimo. Tobiko hails from Narosura, which is a settlement on an often neglected road in the semi-arid Rift Valley region of Kenya. He has been with Juhudi Kilimo for 15 months now. His work mainly entails training smallholder farmers. With a professional career that straddles science and agriculture, he gets the best of both worlds.

Tobiko is seeking a loan of KES 500,000 to pursue a Master’s degree in Agricultural Information Management. He is very comfortable with the repayment period and monthly installments.

“My main role at Juhudi is to offer technical expertise and oversee the adoption of new training models for training small holder farmers in rural areas in conjunction with other experts in the industry. My zest in seeing productive farms and sustainable livelihood was born out of the community I belong to.”

Tobiko was raised in a traditional Maasai community. He takes pride in coming from the independent pastoral tribe. Members of this tribe live off blood, milk and meat from their cattle.

Growing up, Tobiko keenly observed the changes in the world outside his community and understood the adaptations they have to embrace as a community in order to keep up with modernization. He sees a lot of opportunities in education and commerce to improve his community’s livelihood.

Tobiko passed high school exams with flying colors. He was admitted to the University of Nairobi, which is the largest university in Kenya. He selected an undergraduate degree course in agriculture to learn diverse farm practices that would help communities based in arid areas ensure food security. He specialized in animal science.

His first job was as a technical assistant in an agrochemical company where he sold animal pharmaceuticals and trained farmers in Narok, his home county. Later, he joined Juhudi Kilimo.

“The knowledge and skills I will gain from furthering my studies will enable me to conduct complex agricultural research. Through research, I will contribute to knowledge on agronomic practices. I will also be able to provide information on weather, ‘drought-bursting’ technologies, water resources, and livelihood diversification. All this is to ensure economic development and food security in remote areas in Kenya.”

Your loan will equip Tobiko with relevant skills to better train Juhudi farmers. He will also use his expertise to help impact, motivate and inspire members of his community to become better pastoralists and diversify into more lucrative farming practices.

Today, Tobiko is also a self-driven entrepreneur. He made a worthwhile investment keeping dairy goats and growing tomatoes on his father’s farm. As a first born, he wants to set the bar high for his siblings and others who look up to him.

His life’s mission is to drive economic development and poverty alleviation in communities living in arid and semi-arid areas. “These communities face unique challenges such as drought, poverty, illiteracy, forced early marriages and poor health,” he said.

In the next ten years, Tobiko sees himself being an agribusiness advisor, a policy maker and a big time farmer.

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