In September Right to Smile together with Maccop started a project to empower the members of Olasiti community to improve their food security by teaching them new skills in sustainable farming.
In the last few years, climate change has been effecting the rural communities of Kenya heavily. Droughts, short rain seasons & crop failure has left several communities with food & water shortage for long periods of time during the year. This year in March, food supplies had to be handed out to Olasiti community due to food shortage.
Right to Smile has been working with the community of Olasiti for the last 5 years. Maccop is a Community Based Organization made up of members of the same community. This partnership has worked year after year to develop the community. Projects focused on education, water supply, electricity, health, road accessibility, poverty alleviation & community sensitization amongst others.
As the next stage of the community development comes into place we will be focusing on empowering the community with skills to self-sustain their families. The Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security Training will focus on teaching local farmers how to make better use of their vast land.
Being able to grow their food in a sustainable way will help families grow a variety of crops from the usual Beans & Maize. Beans & Maize are staple diets for many families. They are easy to grow with limited rainfall although harvest in the last few years has not been too good.
The training will help farmers grow a variety of food which will save money for families. Transport to town & food prices have a big toll on families that live with close to $1.25/month. Growing their own food will save them a very considerable amount of money which can be used on other family needs like Education, Health etc.…..
The training objectives are the following:
• The short term objectives are;
1. To ensure every farmer has a kitchen garden where one can produce the vegetables need by the family in small quantities but on a regular basis.
2. To have every farmer produce enough vegetables for their family.
3. Every farmer to produce enough compost for their small gardens
• The long term objectives;
1. To have every farmer producing quality food for their households
2. Farmers to have enough to sell to the market
3. Have sufficient compost for their entire farms
4. Have impact on the other components of their farms(livestock)
These objectives will be reached through the following training program & stages:
• INTRODUCTION TOUR
This is where we shall introduce the farmers to information about skilled farming. We shall take them to a farmer who has done farming records, farm produce enough for sale and subsistence, has crop diversity and there is animals in the farm. The farmers are to get enough information on how to operate their farm to have full production.
• INTRODUCTION TO SKILLED FARMING
The farmers will be introduced to the actual farming techniques available and the ones that can work in the area. Introduce permaculture to them in a more simplified way.
• COMPOSTING 1&2
On this the farmers will be introduced to making compost, types of composts, and benefits of composts to the soil and to the ecosystem and application rates on various fields.
• DEEP LAND PREPARATION AND WATER CONSERVATION METHODS
Here we shall be showing the concept of deep land preparation. We shall show them how to do it, tell them the benefits and ways to maintain the depth.
At water conservation methods we shall train the individuals on ways to maintain water in the soil and also to have a supply of water for the plants even in critical months so as to have production that is consistent.
We shall also train them on subdivision of their land to have them understand the concept of kitchen gardening and commercial production of crops.
• NURSERY MANAGEMENT1&2
It will be the introduction of nurseries, managing nurseries and pest control in nurseries. We shall dwell on the importance of nurseries in the farm set up.
Then we shall set up nurseries for their crops and for the agro forestry sections.
• COMPOST, FOOD AND INCOME PLANTING
In this sessions we shall actively involve the farmers on the development of workable ratios that will make them never lack compost, food and income.
This is the integrated system of pest management where we shall train them on various ways of pest control. We shall equip them with practical skills on how to control pests culturally, biologically and physically.
• SEED PRODUCTION AND MANAGEMENT
Here we are to train the farmers on proper seed selection methods and production of the same to increase their production.
The training is being conducted by Edwin Wanjohi who has vast experience in the field of training & knowledge of the local culture. The project will run between 6-9 months as throughout the process families will be visited at their home to monitor the progress & offer on the spot advice & support.
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