It seems to be strange – at a first sight. In the rural areas in Bungoma County, Western Kenya, our local NGO partner conducts a big project on building 1000 kitchen gardens together with the farming communities. Kitchen gardens where farming is daily on the agenda?
It’s true. Farming is happening. Most of the farmers hold small, sometimes even too small pieces of land, farm what somehow – based on the national and international market requests- sells off (that leads to reduced varieties of farming products and also low income as often they lack of storage space and need to sell directly after harvesting), and do all the work based on little knowledge and missing access to seeds and machines. That’s why things need to change and why in the past decade many farmers have built and joined farmer cooperatives.
That’s where our local NGO partner Core Health and Wealth (CHW) and our activities have started to interact with the farming communities two years back.
“We conduct a lot of training sessions and teach about different ways of farming, but also many other things around including better hygiene practices, water topics and business skills. More young people embrace now new ways of planning, acting and selling. These innovative ways of farming will help more youth to be involved in agriculture! And more hope, so that they are not forced to migrate to the cities where they often live in slums,” says Cleophas who leads CHW.
The 1000 kitchen garden project
Till end of 2022, more than 1,000 households in the Mbakalo area in Bungoma county should implement their own kitchen gardens. These kitchen gardens will help to optimize the practices of healthier, natural farming and raise the nutritional status in the farmer families, as well as bring back more varieties of plants and a better knowledge of planting. Even in small spaces it is possible to grow a lot of vegetables with high nutritious value. Water collecting knowledge then makes it also easier. This creates a direct benefit to the families.
“Due to the ongoing various training topics in different farming practices, but also in topics such as business, health and parenting as well as other vocational training sessions, the interest of the farmers and especially the young farmers has grown significantly: not only the elder generation of farmers, but also more young people embrace these new farming ways. These innovative ways of farming embedded in more holistic approaches and taking account of the whole interlinkages between water, nutrition, farming and business will help more youth to be involved in agriculture!”, adds Cleophas.
Simple practices that keep sickness away. Simple practices that can mean so much and make a difference in the farmer families!
CHW is also one of our core partners in the recently launched system changer network Kenya (SCN Kenya). Volunteers help to share knowledge from one community to another. This helps to tackle not just the farming issues of farmers, but to empower them also in many other ways -f rom parenting to First Aid, from safety awareness to communication skills.