NANYUKI, Kenya (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Women herders in Kenya’s semi-arid Laikipia County have broken with tradition to export the leaves of a desert plant to Europe, boosting their incomes.
Three hundred women in El Poloi have switched from the age-old occupation of goat-keeping to the new and far more lucrative activity of farming aloe, a plant with healing properties.
Along the way, they are transforming their economic status and creating educational opportunities for their daughters.
Drought-prone El Poloi lies to the northwest of snow-capped Mount Kenya in the Great Rift Valley. According to the Kenya Meteorological Department, the area receives less than 400 mm (16 inches) of rainfall annually.