Drylands Natural Resources Centre

Our mission is to combat soil degradation and poverty in Kenya's drylands by enabling farmers to invest in reforestation using drought-resistant indigenous tree species.
Mar 20, 2017

FORESTRY TRAINING & FINANCE FOR 600 FARMERS REPORT

potting activity in the nursery
potting activity in the nursery

INTRODUCTION

Receive greetings from DNRC family. We continue to say thank you so much for your continued support which has enabled us to continue to work with 600 farmers in tree planting for both social wellbeing, environmental sustainability and economic empowerment. We can proudly say that we are on the right path in achieving these goals. For example the first trees planted in 2008 now the farmers are pruning for firewood and green charcoal for both domestic use and income generation. They are processing moringa for nutrition and soon will be harvesting trees for timber. The fruits like guavas, pawpaw and citrus are producing and supplying enough nutrition to the farmers who were once affected by malnutrition. By planting local tree species we have modified local microclimate and it’s now easy to plant more trees and the farmers testify that they are positively changing the local climate. This being the beginning of the year, we set targets for the year and started activities to achieve the same. Below are detailed activities achieved during the quarter?

The tree Nursery

We set a target to propagate and plant about 80,000 tree seedlings of not less than 30 different tree species in the end 2017.During the quarter, we mainly propagated the following species: Acacia polyacatha-1000,Acacia xanthopolea 1000, acacia Tortilis-1000, senna seamea-500, melia vonkensii – 100, balanities egyptica- 400, Grevelia robusta-3300 and eucalyptus camandulensis 4000.

Training and outreach program

During the quarter, DNRC outreach persons where mainly involved in recruiting and training farmers on different levels of tree planting. Those already trained in holes preparations and planting were trained in tree management especially weeding, manuring (chop and drop) and pruning. For the new recruits, they were mainly trained on DNRC model of working which emphasis on balancing both social, economic and environmental aspects of the community.

Other trainings which were covered during the quarter included: importance of trees, site selection to locate woodlots for the new members, composting, and food forest importance and establishment. All the 13 groups have been trained making a total of 575 farmers trained during the quarter.

Challenges

Transport and water is the main challenges we are facing. For water, as the nursery expand, more water is needed as the nearby river drys up during dry season and we have to scoop sand to get water. For transport, there is need for a vehicle (canter) to help in transport of seedlings and firewood for green charcoal.

Focus for the next quarter

Continue potting, and propagating more seedlings to meet our target as well as training farmers and individual farm follow-ups.

sowing tree seeds
sowing tree seeds
farmers being trained
farmers being trained
More trainings of farmers
More trainings of farmers
Jan 23, 2017

Moringa to support Kenyan Farmers Progress Report

mature moringa tree
mature moringa tree

INTRODUCTION

Happy New Year greetings from DNRC family. We hope you all had a wonderful year 2016 and 2017 is off for a good start. Thank you for your continuous financial support to our moringa project. Your support is enabling us to plant as many as about 60,000 tree seedlings per year among which 3,000 moringa seedlings are being planted .These moringa seedlings are being used for nutrition and also sale of processed leave powder and seeds for income and wealth creation among the now 600 households we are working with. Apart from providing nutrition among the farmers and creating wealth, moringa as a tree is also providing microclimate and improving the surrounding environment. It’s helping to increase crop yields due to partial shading as we work in drylands. Note moringa aloefera is an agroforestry tree so farmers intercrop with other crops without any negative effects to crops. During the quarter, the main activities included: issuing moringa seedlings and other agroforestry tree seedlings to the farmers, field follow ups by our extension workers to guide the farmers on how to plant and tend the already big moringa trees in their farms. Below is the detailed activities during the quarter.

ISSUING MORINGA SEEDLINGS

During the quarter, both the nursery and the outreach personnel were involved in issuance of the 3,000 Moringa seedlings to the 600 farmers and the 6 schools. This took place during Nov- Dec. rains. Farmers are in 13 groups and are scheduled to come at different dates according to the groups and in the first one week of rains so that when they plant don’t have to water but utilize moist soils from rains. At the same time the farmers were also issued with the other tree seedlings of over 25 different tree species.

OUTREACH AND TRAINING

During the quarter, the outreach personnel were involved in training the farmers on how to tend the flowering moringa trees as well as follow up the just planted moringa seedlings. Key emphasis was on the newly recruited members as this was their first time to plant moringa and great care needed to be taken because the seedlings are delicate as the stems are very soft when young and break easily.

CHALLENGE AND RECOMMENDATION

  • So far we have over 6,000 mature moringa trees producing a lot of leaves and seeds and with no regular market, farmers are not fully benefiting from them. We are trying to sensitize and promote moringa both locally and internationally in our networks.

FOCUS FOR NEXT QUARTER

  • Harvest moringa seeds
  • Propagating more moringa seedlings
  • Source for more market for moringa products
farmers being issued with moringa seedlings
farmers being issued with moringa seedlings
Jan 1, 2017

NUTRITION THROUGH FOOD FOREST AND GARDENS REPORT

issuance of tree seedlings
issuance of tree seedlings

Introduction

Merry Christmas and a happy new year 2017. We are delighted to share with you this progress report on our food forest and gardens project in the New Year eve 2017.We deeply appreciate your continued financial support to implement this project and we say thank you so much. During this quarter, we busy teaching our over 550 farmers on how to establish holes to expand their food forests, maintaining and issuing different tree species to plant during the Oct-Dec rains and also maintaining DNRC food forest and gardens as a demonstration for the farmers and also provide nutritious food for the staff and for sale. Since we work with smallholder farmers in drylands areas, we are finding that food forest is more productive due to positive interaction and beneficial relationships among trees and crops. Due to shade, the cover crops like beans and pigeon peas seem to do better than in the open fields. During the quarter, the following detailed activities were accomplished.

Issuance of tree saplings for food forests.

During this Oct. - Dec. rains, we were able to issue to the farmers over 60,000 seedlings we had propagated in our main tree nursery to plant in food forests and in the woodlots. Some of the tree species we issued included: Mangoes, Avocados, mulberry, pawpaw, passion fruits, balanities, tamarindus indica, moringa, vitex payos, syzygium cumini etc. These fruit trees mature at different times and are high in nutrition so overtime the community will have enough nutrition from these trees. We also plant food crops such as sweet potatoes, beans as cover crop as we try to mimic nature of establishing 7 layers in a natural forest (climax, understorey, shrubs, climbers, tubers, cover crops, herbs).(See attached pictures)

Training and outreach.

During the quarter, we got farmers and school pupils coming to learn from our food forest. Our training and outreach officer was involved in training them in the demonstration food forest for most farmers learn by seeing. (See a photo of visiting school in the food forest)

Managing DNRC food forest demo.

During the last quarter and since it was a rainy season, we gapped the forest with 1 mango tree, 2 vitex payos, 2 lemon trees , 3 paws trees, leucene.and planted lots of cover crops mostly nitrogen fixing like beans, peas sweet potatoes among others. The food forest is flourishing and producing some foods such as passion fruits and mulberry and pawpaw (see the attached pictures).

DNRC greenhouses and farm

During the quarter, we planted our greenhouses with vegetables and tomatoes for staff and sale for income. (See attached pictures).We are also demonstrating vertical planting by use of passion plants so as to utilize small farms of the farmers.(see attached)

Focus for next quarter

  • Tree seedlings propagation
  • Training and Outreach
flourishing food forest
flourishing food forest
students learning from our food forest
students learning from our food forest
gardens with leafy vegetables
gardens with leafy vegetables
demonstrating vertical planting
demonstrating vertical planting
 
   

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