Tawa woman looks at neighbor's trees and sees hope
In the last six months, Trees for the Future has been working hard to prepare the 288 participants of our forest garden project in Tawa, Kenya. These farmers will plant and care for forest gardens that will help them increase their incomes, boost their family's food security, and access new market opportunities by selling products like fruit to a new nearby fruit juice factory.
The farmers are participating in a four-year long program which will allow them to plant a diverse mix of trees and vegetables on their farms. We are working with farmers to grow different types of vegetables such as kale, spinach, onions, amarantha and sweet peppers. Additionally, the farmers are preparing to plant fodder trees like Leucaena leucocephala, Leucaena Tri-candria and Sesbania sesban, as well as fruit trees like mangoes, avocados, and papaya. Finally, they will also cultivate fast-growing agroforestry trees like Grevillea robusta, Jacaranda mimosifolia, Acrocarpus fraxinifolius, Senna siamea and medicinal trees like Moringa oleifera. All these species were selected by farmers based on subsistence needs and market opportunities.
This combination will help farmers stave off hunger and have economic returns in the short term via vegetable and tree planting, while preparing their plots for robust soil regeneration through trees like Leucena leucocephala and Grevillea robusta.
Right now, we are working with farmers to distribute nursery kits and other necessary supplies.
- Trees for the Future has been able to support these farmers with farm and nursery equipment like forks, hoes, shovels, and watering cans. All the 288 farmers in our Tawa program benefit from these tools. The tools will help these farmers when managing thousands of seedlings in their nurseries and when planting seedlings on the farm.
- Because Tawa is one of the very dry areas of Kenya, Trees for the Future supports these farmers with water liners as well as training them on how to capture rain water. Currently they are using water liners to capture rain water and also store water for their vegetable and tree nurseries. With water harvesting, the farmers will be able to minimize losses in terms of seedlings drying up during dry times.
- Our Tawa area farmers benefit from vegetable seeds which they learn to grow in their forest gardens. Currently the farmers are using these vegetables as food at home and to sell at market. This helps them earn cash to enable them to buy basic goods like sugar, flour, salt and cooking oil. Their children have been able to benefit in terms of immediate nutritional improvement.
- Our Tawa farmers continue to establish more tree nurseries and currently they are managing different types of seedlings which include fodder trees, agroforestry trees, and fruit trees. Each of these farmers anticipate out-planting thousands of seedlings during the upcoming long rainy season (October-December).
With your help we have been able to reach 200 of the 288 farmers in our Tawa Program. There are many more to help in this project so please consider donating today!
Life is Tawa is difficult
A Tawa woman tends her vegetable nursery
Life is hard but there are kittens to help!
An established nursery with a growing live fence