In Kenya, farmers report results from conservation farming, irrigation and animals

In Kenya, farmers report results from conservation farming, irrigation and animals

In the semi-arid Ndeiya region of Kenya, FRB's food security program focuses on resilience and coping with recurrent drought through alternatives such as conservation agriculture and raising small "pass on the gift" animals - rabbits, chickens, goats -- for protein or to sell for income. Participants are female-headed and orphan-headed households, landless people, internally displaced persons, children, and people living with HIV. On-site farmer trainings and exchange visits promote no-till farming, improving soil fertility and water retention with manure and crop residues, and recycling household water for watering vegetables.

Grace N., a farmer who'd had to resort to low-paying, menial work in an effort to support her family, is back to farming and has benefited from the loan of a dairy goat and improved, indigenous chicks. Grace says, "I am earning income from the sale of eggs from my improved indigenous chickens. I was given six chicks and now they are grown and have started laying eggs.” Grace is also pleased that the dairy goat, which gives a liter of milk per day.

The program has trained 352 households on runoff water collection, simple kitchen wastewater recycling methods, and roof water collection. Qualifying farmers received drip irrigation kits. Nelly K., who received one of the kits, is now growing tomatoes, watering them with household waste water she has recycled using wood ash as a purifier. Nelly is quite optimistic about receiving good returns from the sale of her tomatoes.

Nelly N., a farmer who’d received training on growing various drought-tolerant crops previously unknown in the area, says her family has been able to adopt the pigeon peas as part of their diet, and now consume the peas green or dried in stews and other local dishes. According to Nelly, pigeon pea is performing well in the area, and the farmers only need to prune the plant to encourage new shoots that produce more peas.

The Ndeiya program plan originally included 300 households; more than 352 households have now been trained and have adopted conservation farming practices on their farms. More than 248 additional households which are not direct program participants have learned the techniques from their friends and neighbors and through farm visits. When the expected short rains stopped in November, many traditional farmers lost their crops, but those practicing conservation farming techniques were gratified that their crops survived. Six-hundred farmers are now practicing conservation agriculture in the area and enjoying the good results.

Foods Resource Bank's Kenya-Ndeiya program is led by World Renew and local partner Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK-MKCCS). Kenya Ndeiya encompasses 3 communities, 300 households, and 1800 individuals.

04/11/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment