April 6, 2012

The Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI)

On March15th, the board members went to the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) in Embu for a workshop. They were taken on a demonstration tour of the institute´s various projects and given lectures by the respective field experts.
The institute gives farmers information on sound farming practice and provides them with high-quality plant materials and seeds.

a field with sweet potatoes
Christine admires the sweet potatoes that grow bigger when intercropped with cassava.
the 4 a banana can grow 5 times as big as the commonly grown type

sorghum field
Note the paper bags that were put over the sorghum seed heads to protect them from birds.
horticulture: groups of farmers grow flowers for export and market them cooperatively
maintained Moringa plants
plant nursery
drough-tolerant African spinach
a Model zero-grazing unit
The specialist on animal husbandry gives a lecture on balanced cow nutrition.
board members in front of the KARI administration building with the coordinator and one of the specialists
 The board members learnt a lot at KARI. They will pass it on to the groups they work with so the members can share this knowledge and the cooperation with the institute. They will be inspired to try new methods and improve their farming practices to the benefit of their families and the whole community.

The Kilimo group

The board members of our organisation have their own groups and projects in their home areas. Christine Murangiri is a member of the Kilimo group at Kabugua near Chuka and also their secretary.
The Kilimo group has established a banana nursery. They have succeeded in growing banana seedlings through a banana tissue method. From this nursery, farmers get a good supply of well-graded plants.
When the bananas are mature the farmers take their harvest to the officials of the Kilimo group and market it cooperatively. Middle men from Nairobi come to collect the bananas and pay for them. The money is deposited into the group´s account and then distributed to the members.

the technician in charge of the banana nursery

weighing the bananas
ready for collection

Soap making

With rising prices for food and household commodities many woman have to struggle to make ends meet. So every opportunity to save or to earn a little extra money is welcome. 
One of the Gaketha group members showed the others how to make soap for their own use. Surplus can be sold and generate a small income.
Micheni shows the ingredients for soap making.
They are mixed together, ...

... stirred ...

... and put in a mould to dry.

Finally the soap is cut into pieces and ready to be used.