Moringa to support Kenyan Farmers Health and Wealth project continue to progress well with awareness and usage of Moringa power increasing in the County and within the community we are working with. This project is mainly focused on Moringa tree for its nutritional value for the farmers and extra to sale for income for the now 500 farmers we are working with. Besides the Moringa trees grown by the farmers, we still plant over 25 other different varieties of trees for different uses. The Farmers have started benefiting from other trees products like sustainable harvesting of branches for firewood and charcoal production.
During the quarter, the main activities were harvesting moringa seeds and leaves and bringing them to the DNRC site for sale. Below is more details of the activities and challenges during the quarter. Accompanying are attached pictures of the accomplished activities. We say thank you so much for your continued support and health partnership in this project. God bless.
a. Collecting of moringa seeds and processing moringa leaves into powder
During the quarter, about 40kg of moringa seeds were brought to the office and packed for sale for income. We were also able to process 35kg of moringa power from the leaves brought by the farmers to the site. Once the farmers bring seeds to the site, they are weighed and once sold, the farmers are paid and DNRC makes some margin for sustainability of the project. The same happens to the leaves and the farmers bring them fresh and at the site are dried and using kiln and mortar is made into powder. (See attached pictures of collected moringa seed, leaves being dried and moringa powder.)
b. Propagating moringa and training.
We continued to propagate more moringa seeds in our nursery and training farmers on how to manage the existing moringa trees for optimize the yields. (See attached picture of the tree nursery)
d. Focus for next quarter.
Much regards from Drylands Natural Resource Center (DNRC) family. Your generous support has enabled us to recruit other 50 famers to join the already existing 450 farmers making accumulative of 500 farmers. Thank you very much and we look forward to continue this partnership. The impact of our project is quite significant now; as the food forests get to maturity, famers are experiencing micro climates as the timber trees grow taller and form canopies, soils are becoming more fertile as the falling leaves continue to decompose and as they form the spongy layers, water retention is improved. This translates to increased crop production. As the food forest emphasizes on the 7 layers of natural forest, this layers are chosen carefully in the farmer’s farms to meet their health, nutrition needs and financial needs too. The layers include tubers, cover crops, shrubs, climbers, understory and climax. So in our nursery, we raise tree samplings including fruit trees to meet these layers which mimic natural forest.
During the quarter, the following activities where achieved.
More propagation of tree saplings.
Our target for the year is 60,000 tree samplings. This being our major propagation period, the nursery staff where majorly involved in propagation of over 25 different tree species which included: timber trees, fruit tree, fodder trees, medicinal trees among others. By the end of this quarter, 50,000 seedlings were propagated which the farmers will be issued to establish and or expand their food forests.
Outreach trainings and field visits
During the quarter, the outreach staff visited farmers in their farms and tackled their issues majorly on food forest management, emphasis on cover crops as a natural way to tame weeds as well as increasing food production by mimicking the seven layers of natural forest.
Maintaining the DNRC food forest demonstration farm
During the quarter, major activity in the DNRC food forest was earthing and planting more cover crops and general maintenance of chop and drop. We also harvested 20kgs of bananas, (shrubs), 30 kgs of beans, (herbs) and 20pcs of passion fruits (climbers)
Focus for the next quarter
Greetings from Drylands Natural Resources Centre (DNRC) family. We continue to say thank you so much for your continued and generous support you continue to accord our projects. Your support is enabling us to work with now 500 families (5,000 people) in the drylands of Kenya to improve their economical status, improve their environment and strengthen their social fabric as the work together. We are realizing positive impacts since we started up to now. The first trees are big enough and have formed canopy and the microclimate is improving. The farmers are saying now the region is raining more and its cooler compared to when the project had not started.
As we prune the branches as part of the management of the bigger trees, the families have enough firewood and extra to sell for income. Moringa trees we planted are big enough to produce seeds and leaves for income. The farmers are bringing the leaves at DNRC for processing into the powder and hence making money. We are on the process of looking for ways to start extracting moringa oil for domestic use and sale for income. Some of the fruit trees have started producing like the papaws and so the food and nutrition insecurity is slowly being addressed. As the environment and economical aspects improve, the farmers are slowly realizing that when alone you can realize little but together you realize more. As you support us, we also encourage in case you get a chance, you visit us to see the positive impacts and we build more relationships. The following are more details of the activities which took place during the quarter.
Tree Nursery Program
The goal of this year is to propagate 60,000 plus tree seedlings of different varieties and uses .We plan to plant at least 30 different species for biodiversity, wildlife and diversified income opportunities. During this quarter, we have propagated 45000 seedlings. We also continued the normal activities in the nursery including sowing, transplanting and soil preparation and maintaining the already existing tender seedlings.
Farmers training/outreach program
During the quarter, DNRC training and outreach staff was involved in training the groups on tree management as well as recruiting more farmers. She management to mobilize and recruit 50 more new farmers and we are in the process of inducting them to our programs.
Farmers bi-annual get together.
To strengthen and build the community, we have included in our programs farmers day where they come, eat, dance and share their experiences. On, 10th June 2016, we had our get-together which went on very well with over farmers attending and the area government officials joining us. The occasion was full of celebrations as the farmers presented educational skits, poems and songs with tree planting themes.
We have the challenge of transport of our extension officer and also an extra staff to be able to effectively train and reach the now 500 farmers.
Focus for next quarter
To continue propagating more tree seedlings to meet our year target of 60,000.
To train the newly recruited farmers and the others on tree management and planting