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Turning Food loss into Opportunity: A Story of Lucy Waweru

November 11, 2020

One of the ways we like to roll here at Jali is making sure you are properly introduced to the women behind every bag of Jali fruit we sell. Our Find My Farm program was developed to help live out our very name, Jali, which in West Africa means, “a story teller.” It’s through vibrant stories like Lucy’s you can learn about everyday life in places across the world and how women farmers are working to upcycle their food loss.

Lucy Waweru is part of one of our many women-led cooperatives. Learn more about the women of Kakuku.

A Day in the Life

As you enter Lucy’s compound, you will see the church on top of the hill and a Bible College still under construction. “My calling is to the work of God first”, Lucy states. She has been an evangelist for over two decades. In the compound, their homestead takes center-stage while the farm forms the serene backyard. At the age of 67, Lucy Waweru is a farmer, minister of the word, mentor, teacher, wife and mother. In Ithanga, Murang’a County, she has built her home to fit her multifaceted work.

Supporting women farmers in developing countries | Jali Fruit Co.

Lucy is up as early as 5 a.m. to have a personal fellowship and minister to her family. After breakfast, she then sets out to her farm. With one worker to assist, Lucy juggles time between her ministry, farming and other duties. 

At 6 a.m., she gets the cow milked; they then sell the milk to locals via delivery or pickup at their home. Lucy spends the rest of her morning pruning, weeding and tending to her fruit trees. In the afternoon, she often goes to different homesteads to evangelize alongside her husband. Before dusk, she returns home to prepare dinner and check up on the rest of the farm’s work. 

She also has livestock, including goats and chicken, which she is teaching her daughters to attend to. “Mentoring teenagers is quite the task. Though, I am glad I get more time to bond now that they are home because of coronavirus”, she says. Lucy grows a bounty of oranges, tangerines and mangoes, and recently started growing bananas. Apart from the fruits, she also grows sweet potatoes, cassava, avocados and grains.

Empowered Women Empowering Women

Lucy is passionate about giving. Apart from feeding her family, plenty of her farm produce goes to feed the needy in the neighborhood. As a member of a women farmers’ cooperative where they contribute savings, Lucy took a loan to buy a dehydrator. The group has helped Lucy focus more on her farming and how it can aid in her ministry. The women now dry fruits and make extra income from their farms and upcycle their food loss. Lucy, alongside other women, also receive training on value addition of their fruits and new farming methods. 

Jali Fruit Co. | Women economic empowerment

“I am glad I could take a loan to purchase this dehydrator. I know it will assist me to make better sales with my dry fruits,” she says. Lucy now uses the extra income to continue building their Bible College that recently had construction completed on it’s foundation.

Every bag of Jali fruit is 100% traceable from tree to table. Simply scan the unique QR code found on the front of your bag to learn about the cooperative of women that made your bag of dried mango, dried pineapple and dried jackfruit. Tempting, we know — buy your bag today and follow along on our journey! 

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