Food Security Program Update 22nd April 2016

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members of Cheptirak Women Group receiving certified seeds from JWW

members of Cheptirak Women Group receiving certified seeds from JWW

To increase food production among the groups we work with, we are working on promoting the use of certified seeds in all our demonstration plots so that participants in our various groups can get the concept and later on practice it in their farms.

Although last year we distributed drought tolerant seeds to our groups, they did not get much from the harvests because most of the crops were destroyed by goats and drought. This year however, we have encouraged groups to raise half the required costs of fencing materials which we have matched and supplied them with chain links to secure their demo sites. we have also distributed the seeds early enough to avert the adverse effects of drought after this long rains.

We are hopeful that after training farmers on sustainability and the need to save seeds once they harvest, they will be able to raise seeds from their demo site and distribute it among themselves so that they can plant in their own farms.

This year, we have supplied our groups with green grams, cow peas, maize, ground nuts and mwitamania beans seeds and all groups have started planting. the excess seeds were shared in small portions among all the participants so that they can also raise them in their farms back at home.

Food Security Program Update 2nd May 2015

Jitokeze wamama wafrika is a community based organization that works with marginalized communities in the low land areas of West pokot to improve food security in the region, enable participants engage in activities that can help them generate income as well as train them on peace and conflict transformation which is the corner stone for development.

To achieve this, we have been working with various self help groups and we can attest to the social economic benefits that members of these groups have achieved since we started working with them in our Food security program.

Kakuko SHG is one of the groups we have been working with in Batei Ward under Mr. Edwin Juma. The group had started years back as a movement against sokoria, a popular tree whose leaves are used as vegetables by most people in the low land areas of Pokot, after some girls fell off it. Members came together and started farming with the aim of producing vegetables and selling them to the community around but due to harsh climatic conditions the project did not go far.

Their dream however did not die and when Jitokeze came in the region in 2015, the 14 women and two men agreed to work with the organization in raising poultry for generating income and engaging in farming of drought tolerant crops through attending training and practicing what they have been taught in their farms.

Members share that their vegetable project had failed the first time because they did not have the knowledge which they now have. They have acquired skills in Agro forestry practices; poultry keeping and crops production which has seen them raise money and improve their living standards through farming.

Through building local brooders (chepkubes) members have been able to raise chicks and most of them have sold part of their flocks to raise money for purchasing chain links for fencing their farms. They have also been able to purchase grafted mango seedlings and tissue culture bananas which each member will be planting in her farm besides the pawpaw seedlings that they had raised in their demo site and shared among themselves.

Participants are now aware of drought tolerant crops such as cow peas, ground nuts, cassava, maize, beans and sweet potatoes and after seeing how well they did last year in the demo site, they are each going to plant some in their own farms. They thank the organization for the trainings and above all helping them meet half the required costs of purchasing farm inputs.

Apart from farming, the group also engages in making bracelets and ornaments from beads and selling them in the local market. Some members also engage in preparing herbs for treating various diseases which they also sell at the local market. The money acquired belongs to the group and it is loaned to members who later pays it back with an interest.

Mr Richard Lokuk, the group’s chairman feels they have achieved their goal because they can now feed their children, pay fees and have a little more money to save. He says all this would not have been possible without each members’ effort and contribution. He is grateful to the organization for boosting them and making it possible for them to grow and have the desire to continue growing. He shared that most people from the community around are asking to join the group but at the moment they have not yet decided if to expand the membership or create another group and share the knowledge and help them also grow just as they have been helped by jitokeze.

Food Security Program Update-15th March 2016

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some members of Soibei SHG transferring seedlings from their nursery and putting them in tubes.

some members of Soibei SHG transferring seedlings from their nursery and putting them in tubes.

Soibei Falls Irrigation scheme Self Help Group is one of the groups we started working with late last year here in Kapenguria ward. Although participants had enough water for irrigation and large tracks of land, they were not getting much out of farming due to lack of expertise knowledge in crops production.

Mr Richard Kibet is one of the people who tried practicing agriculture but due to the low returns he was getting, he decided to quit and move to Lodwar to start up a business. He came back recently and found those he had left behind doing well and this got him curious. It was then that he learned from his father Mr. Stanley who is the Community Development committee of Soibei Falls Irrigation scheme Self Help Group that they had joined Jitokeze Wamama Wafrika and are now benefiting from trainings and certified seeds that are not readily available in the market.

Mr Kibet decided to join the group and after attending classes for just two months, he decided to close down his business and concentrate on farming. He has cleared a two acre piece of land and he is planning to plant cabbages, kales, capsicum and carrots in large scale to sell.

Kibet shares that he had lost all hope in farming considering the slope of his land that leads to soil erosion during rainy seasons but now he has learnt that he can use contour ridges and plant cover crops like nappier grass which will double up as feeds to his cow that he is planning to buy.

Although Soibei SHG practices pure crop productions, Kibet has also showed his interest in poultry keeping and he has been sacrificing his free time to attend poultry training being offered to another group. Kibet believes in the power of knowledge and he is glad he came back on time and is also grateful to the organization for offering trainings to people.

At the moment, soibei SHG is preparing tree nurseries and putting seedlings in tubes for their agro forestry project. they have raised pawpaw, eucalyptus, Cyprus and gravelier seedlings. this seedlings will be planted in the group demo site, sold to other farmers and some will be distributed to each participant to plant in individual farms.

Food Security Program Update- 11th March 2016

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members of Kakuko Self Help Group after receiving a water tank they had requested from the organization.

members of Kakuko Self Help Group after receiving a water tank they had requested from the organization.

One of our major activities has been to encourage participants in the groups we are working with under our food security program to raise half the required costs of the inputs they need to fully engage in food security and generate income from the activity. At the moment we are encouraging participants to raise 50% of the cost while we match the other 50%. However this is not going to be so for long because each year we lower our contribution by at least 25% so that participants can learn to be independent and sustain the project even after we face out from their areas.

This year through the help of our field officers we have overseen the delivery of 50 chain links to three groups and a 3,000 liters tank to one group that successfully managed to raise half the required costs for these items. This is a great improvement compared to last year where participants shunned contributing their money for the fear of being duped.

Mr Richard Lokuk, the chairman of Kakuko Self Group shared that his group members are very happy and grateful for what the organization has done for them. He pointed out that members are happy they won’t be disturbed by goats that have been destroying their crops and rendering their efforts useless again. He went on to inform us that after seeing the chain links and the water tank, some members who had dropped out of the group are now seeking to be taken back because they have started seeing progress and development.

Other groups that were lagging behind have also geared up and at the moment we have more requests for chain links, water tanks, water pipes and sanction pipes as compared to last year where we only managed to deliver a water pump and water pipes to two groups.

Food Security Program-Updates 12th November 2015.

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Jitokeze Wamama Wafrika has managed to deliver water harvesting equipment such as water pumps, PVC delivery pipes and fencing materials (chain links) to some of the groups in the income security project.We had earlier on introduced the aspect of cost sharing between the groups and the organization with the aim of making the group members embrace the project as theirs and own it rather than saying it belongs to the organization.. Although this directive made us unpopular among most of the groups that we had mobilized, some of our groups worked hard towards raising half the required cost of purchasing the needed equipment while we contributed the other half, purchase the equipment and deliver it to the group at their respective demo site.

We have been very careful to ensure that one group does not benefit more than another group. To achieve this, a group is only allowed to request for one item that they need most.

water pump pictures

Madam Lucy Kitele handing over a water pump to Karamomisiyo’s group chairman.

We are also going to promote our farmers who are dealing with poultry husbandry by giving them an equal number of the total chicks they have purchased from us. This will motivate group members as well as boost the farmers to reach their goals of rearing chicken to promote food security and generate income for themselves, their families and the community. Most of the groups have however not received their requests due to failure of raising the required money to meet up half the cost of what they need but we are hoping that by early next year all groups will have benefited from this initiative.