Food Security Program Update-17th May 2015

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pupils of Morpus primary school receiving chain links from JWW

pupils of Morpus primary school receiving chain links from JWW

The best way to empower people and the community they come from at large is by killing the spirit of dependency and expectation of free things and hand outs from the government and organizations within the region. When we give to people they end up having that mind set of ‘we are vulnerable and we are entitled to receive help’ rather than believing that they have potential and they can start with whatever small they have to better their lives. As an organization we have been struggling to kill this spirit for a long time and we are happy that participants in our various projects have realized they have the potential and we are just here to help by guiding them through trainings and assisting them attain their goals.

When we introduced the concept of cost sharing in purchasing the required farm inputs, most participants thought that we were trying to swindle them but at the moment we are happy to share that they feel good when we deliver to them an asset that is as a result of their collective effort and not just a handout from Jitokeze. We have also seen participants working hard to acquire what they need without asking for financial help from us but just for  linkages with suppliers. For instance we have participants from our poultry project who have gone ahead to purchase the eggs of the improved breed of chickens and hatched them on their own rather than waiting for the organization to supply them with the improved chicks as they had expected earlier. They say they have been given knowledge and skills which is more important and they can not keep on waiting for us to bring the chicks when they can make local arrangements and get eggs and consequently the desired chicks.

This attitude has encouraged us as an organization because it has helped us to see that our efforts are helping the community to grow towards self reliance and sustainability.

Food Security Program Update 16th Feb 2016

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Field officer Lomut Ward putting soil in tubes before transferring mango seeds from the nursery bed and members of Warany Self Help Group preparing mango  seeds

Field officer Lomut Ward putting soil in tubes before transferring mango seeds from the nursery bed and members of Warany Self Help Group preparing mango seeds

Our main objective has been to increase by 25% the knowledge and practice of sustainable production of drought Tolerant Crops and Trees among the 232 members of 12 Self Help Groups and 93 vulnerable students from 4 schools that are participating in our food security program by the end of 2019.

Having dwelled much on Drought tolerant crops production and poultry keeping in the previous year, this year we have decided to put much focus on trees production and soil and water conservation. Our field officers have taken advantage of this dry season to introduce participants to Agro forestry, its importance, and how to establish nursery beds and putting seedlings into tubes.

We are happy because participants have embraced this project more than we anticipated and are ready to participate in it. We have also realized that it is not the first time they are being introduced to Agroforestry because other organizations that operated in Lomut, Batei and Masol wards before us introduced this knowledge to farmers but only few embraced it. Participants are delighted and are working hard to ensure that just like agronomy, they get knowledge and skills in Agro forestry.

Our Field Officer Lomut Ward pointed out that he is amazed by how participants show up for trainings earlier and leave late. New members have also come out to join the groups just to acquire knowledge and prepare seedling that they will be planting in their individual farms when it starts to rain.

muringa tree seedlings prepared by Warany S.H.G

muringa tree seedlings prepared by Warany S.H.G

Food Security Program -Updates 09th February 2016

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Our FSP project is making a major impact on most of the farmers we are working with in the various self help group. We are glad to share how through this project Mrs. Sofia Mathias a member of Mosoriot SHG has been given a piece of land by her husband after seeing her dedication in practising sustainable Agriculture.
Sofia who had initially been depending on her husband for everything shared with us how her life changed greatly after joining Mosoriot group. Through the training she was receiving from her trainer Mrs. Yator, she prepared small patches of land after which she planted coriander, hot pepper, kales and established a tree nursery at her home. Despite the harsh weather conditions, her garden flourished and she started selling her produce to nearby hotels and to her neighbors. She shares that since then she has never approached her husband for money and this is what has made him so happy to a point of buying for her a one acre piece of land.
She states that when she joined the group she thought it was just a waste of time just as many people do. But at the moment she has seen the benefits and is even telling other women especially those who just sit doing nothing to join groups because it will be beneficial to them in the long run. She adds that ‘nowadays my husband is the first person to remind me I should be at the demo site meeting with other members and learning new things and not wasting my time at home. I am grateful to Jitokeze for empowering me and making me food secure and financially stable.’ At the moment, we have appointed sofia as the chepkube trainer in Kapenguria ward. Together with her trainer, she is helping other farmers who are keeping chicken in establishing these structures that helps keep their chicks safe from cold and predators.
Apart from farming, sofia and her husband also make bricks for selling to earn money to educate their children.

Food Security Program Updates-26th January 2016

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field officers in class during water harvesting techniques capacity building training

field officers in class during water harvesting techniques capacity building training

Our main objective has been to increase by 25% the knowledge and practice of sustainable production of drought Tolerant Crops and Trees among the 320 SHGs members and 120 students that are participating in our food security program by the end of 2019. This is through promotion of soil and water conservation practices as well as agroforestry farming practices.

This year, our focus is on mobilizing and training farmers to conserve soil and water, plant trees, and grow drought tolerant crops using micro-catchment structures of soil and water conservation and agro-forestry farming techniques. To achieve this, we have started by training our field staffs on the various techniques that can be used in promoting agro forestry in dry areas and we believe that through building their capacities, they will be able to deliver to the farmers they train effectively.

Although we managed to conduct this training for only two days, our staff appreciated the knowledge they acquired from Mr Damieno Morulem, a supervisor at Catholic diocese of Kitale in West Pokot County, who came in to conduct it. They showed great interest in getting back to their farmers to share and improve agro-forestry without the fear of the dreaded drought.

Our field officers from lomut, Morpus and Cheptulel assured us that the water harvesting techniques will help most of their farmers who don’t have direct access to water. Mr. Kibunguchi shared that he had seen some of the structures in his area and after receiving this training he is going to train the farmers on how to do it correctly.

Perpetual Yator, FO Kapenguria ward, feels that most of the knowledge she acquired is very vital and although it does not apply to high land areas, she is determined to try out those that can be suitable in her area such as the use of contour ridges and other agronomic measures like trash lines, cover crops and inter cropping which apart from being affordable to farmers are also profitable and helps in improving soil fertility.

Emmanuel Kapelile our FO Kreswa ward shared with us how he used to see the water harvesting structures in people’s lands but could not help his groups when approached because he did not know how to do it due to lack of knowledge. He appreciated the organization for the training and said he now feels well equipped with knowledge and is ready to help his farmers without doubts.

Food Security Programs -Update 19th October 2015

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Food security Program

After a long period of droughts in our region, we are glad that it has started raining again. Currently our tailoring students who are also in the Bio Intensive Agriculture, Agro forestry and poultry farming are transplanting vegetables from the seed bed that they had prepared last month. These vegetables will be consumed at the center by the students when it is ready while part of it will be sold to neighbors to raise income.

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JWW students harvesting maize from our farm at the center.

We have started harvesting our maize although we are doing it in turns because the farm is approximately 2acres and we cannot harvest the whole of it at once. We are however rushing to complete this task to prevent our maize from rotting due to the heavy downpours. Our students have also taken the responsibility of looking after our improved local breed chicken, ensuring they have food and water as well as collecting eggs. This they have been able to do after receiving trainings from Mrs Perpetual Yator our field officer who trains them on B.I.A, agroforestry and poultry.

We are also monitoring groups and farmers’ progress to assess the impact of the program. We are currently measuring skills and knowledge acquisition but we are also glad to find farmers who are replicating what they do at the demo sites in their farms. For instance we managed to visit Mrs.Sophia Matia a group member in Mosoriot group and we were delighted by how she has worked in her small farm to produce coriander, hot pepper, kales and sorghum. She is selling these products and generating income for herself and her family.

Mrs Sophia Matia giving corriander to Jackline Chemutai, the programs coordinator.