By: Linda Dede Nyanya Godji Incoom
Her passion for organic farming led her to pursue a career in agriculture. Millicent Abillah was born and raised in a family that was conscious of what they ate. Her mother introduced her to organic farming at a young age, and she fell in love with it.
Ms. Millicent Abillah, is Based in Homa Bay County in Western Kenya with focus on organic farming of oilseeds such as: sunflowers, chia, soybeans, groundnuts, sesame etc.
Millicent may have a diploma in office operations and certificates in Public Relations, Marketing, Advertising, and Customer Service, but her passion for organic farming has led her to become a successful organic farmer and entrepreneur. She is a crusader for organic produce and is making a positive impact on the agriculture industry in Kenya.
She decided to go commercial with her passion in 2019 and is currently, running her 4.5-acre organic farm in Kenya. She grows a variety of organic food which she says is always in high demand because of its quality and health benefits.
Millicent is also the founder of Seven Fields Enterprises, an agribusiness entity that works with small-scale farmers for bulk production of oilseeds for the organic market in Kenya. She believes that organic farming is the future of agriculture and is committed to promoting it.
Millicent is an advocate for organic food and encourages inorganic farmers to consider organic farming to ensure natural and healthy foods. She believes that organic farming is not only good for the environment but also the health of consumers.
“I come from a community of organic farmers where we cherish clean and safe foods. My motivation to start an agribusiness is to be able to sell safe and nutritious organic oilseeds whilst at the same time providing an economic and social impact to the community by way of getting good prices for their produce.”
She tells agrighanaonline that she is happy the organic market as a whole in Kenya is growing. “Organic foods are being accepted in Kenya by the day. People are more aware of the need to consume healthy foods. Some farms specifically grow fresh produce and traditional green vegetables can be found in selected supermarkets and organic markets. The organic market in Kenya is widespread; you can find organic farms within Nairobi and its environs and as far as Western Kenya about 400km from Nairobi.” She said.
She believes that when the world comes together to promote organic farming, there will still be enough food without destroying the environment. She added that by incorporating crop rotation and inter-cropping, soil fertility is improved for better and quality crop yields.
Her advice to her colleague farmers who are into inorganic farming is that organic farming is good and equally profitable. Hence, they should consider going organic to save the ecosystem and soil whilst producing healthy food for all. “Organic produce; the taste is authentic, safe and nutritious and lastly organic products retain all their nutrients no loss whatsoever.” She added.
She also advised farmers to practice consistent tree planting exercises to help improve the environment and also serve as windbreaks to protect farmlands.
Though the business has been going well, Millicent faces a challenge that has to do with transporting her produce from the farm to the nearest organic markets.
“Transport is a major challenge as the farm is 350km from Nairobi so getting the produce to the clients or the nearest organic market is quite expensive with a lot of delays. We use buses where our goods get mixed up. This forces us to re-calculate our costs again at least to make a profit. “She added.
Despite this challenge, Millicent remains determined to continue her organic farming and to promote it to others.