Hay baling as a business for former street children in Kenya

S. W. Duiker, P. Maina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Destitute children are provided with food, shelter and education in government and non-profit centres in many African countries. Their successful re-entry into society remains a challenge due to difficulty finding gainful employment. We report on an initiative to assist youth at the Children and Youth Empowerment Centre in Nyeri to start their own businesses. A thriving suburban dairy sector in Kenya has led to strong demand for hay. Hay can be produced in the rural areas, baled, and transported to the towns. We introduced low-cost equipment to produce hay bales: Scythes to mow grass, and a push-through manual hay baler to make dense bales. Youth were trained in operating and maintaining scythes and construction of the manual hay baler. They formed a 4-person hay-baling team that made more than 500 bales for local farmers, being paid by the bale, enabling them to generate up to US$5 pp per day. Existence of an active hay market, skills training, a supporting organization, mentors, and project continuity over many years were identified as the key factors leading to success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalLivestock Research for Rural Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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