A group of 35 farmers spent a day at Latia learning about irrigation on small-scale. The group represents a total number of 600 local beneficiaries (divided in groups of 20) of a one-year Project implemented by the Jersey Overseas Aid Commission (JOAC), through Self Help Africa (SHA) – Kenya Chapter. The one-year Project facilitates smallholder farmers in Narok County to indulge in indigenous vegetables, indigenous poultry, sweet potatoes and irrigation.
The farmers were selected depending on their magnitude to pick-up small investments into profitable and sustainable practices. A local beneficiaries committee did selections that SHA verified and started off in February 2015. The Project is set to conclude in February 2016. The main agenda by SHA is a close-out workshop on sustainable resources for the growth of the targeted produce and putting-up effective irrigation systems. In addition, participants are being exposed to model mixed-farms within the country. SHA will then guide them in drawing individual work-plans that they are open to deviate from or incorporate more innovations. For this reason, SHA has linked them to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, as well as, local NGOs, including APHIAplus (a USAID initiative).
The farmers will also acquire drip irrigation systems of 50 litres, water tanks of 3000 litres capacity, seeds of indigenous vegetables and the orange flesh sweet potato vines. SHA has also trained them on: developing effective underground tanks; good governance and group dynamics, such as credits and finance; village savings and loans, like table banking; and, proper management and utilization of natural resources.
Nimeona na kujua mengi, ambayo nilikuwa natarajia, haswa kuhusu ng’ombe na mbuzi wa maziwa. Pale nyumbani tunafuga ng’ombe aina ya Zebu, ambaye anatumika kwa nyama pekee. (I have seen and learnt a few things, which I expected, especially dairy cows and goats. Back at home we rear indigenous cows called Zebu, only resourceful for meat.), says Robinson – a beneficiary of the project.
Featured image: some participants practice how to set-up drip irrigation pipelines on beds in a unit at the Latia farm.