Mar 25, 2021

Moringa to support Kenyan Farmers Report

INTRODUCTION Greetings from DNRC family. We hope you and yours are all well. We are delighted to share with you this progress report as we say thank you for your kind continuous support. Despite Covid challenges in the country, the entire DNRC staff and the 800 farmers we serve are all safe and in high spirits. We are grateful in that we have never had cases in the community so far. As we reported last time, due to Covid restricted mass gatherings, we resulted to mainly training our farmers at their farms and close follow ups. This is proving effective in that close follows is ensuring quicker adoption and expansion of the project. Despite all the challenges of the pandemic, it has also positively impacted our moringa project in that our moringa power sales have increased as the need for more nutrition increased due to the pandemic. Our international market for our moringa seeds however has slowed abit but the orders still remain though fewer. During this reporting period, we concentrated our activities mainly in propagating more moringa seedlings to be given to farmers during this March-April rains. We also followed and trained farmers on tending and management of the planted moringa trees and also aggregating moringa seeds for the new order. Below are detailed activities during the reporting quarter MORINGA POWDER PROCESSING During this reporting quarter, we sourced moringa leaves from the farmers, dried them under shade and processed to powder using motor and kiln. We processed about 25kg of moringa leave powder during the quarter. DNRC continue to sell the processed leave powder for income both for the farmers and sustainability of DNRC. The farmers also continue to consume moringa powder as nutrition supplements during this Covid pandemic. MORINGA SEEDS SOURCING This activity is continuous and depends on the current order. During this reporting period, we had a running order and we managed to source 1000kg for the external market. This is very important for the income for the farmers during this hard times due to loss of livelihoods due to covid. The income is also distributed because each farmer is able to supply some seeds and get income unlike one person supplying all the seeds. FOLLOW UPS AND TRAININGS During this reporting quarter, we concentrated on individual farmers training and follow ups and avoided group trainings as a measure of covid health protocols. Though slow process, it has proven more effective as close follows is proving to higher adoption rates. During the quarter, 540 households were visited and trained on moringa planting and management. CHALLENGES Covid health regulations which has slowed mass trainings thus reducing the number of farmers per given period Reduced resources in terms of financial support due to global economic slowdown FOCUS FOR THE NEXT QUARTER Continue drying more moringa leaves and processing to the powder Continue sourcing more moringa seeds for the new order Individual farmer follows and trainings
Mar 5, 2021

NUTRITION THROUGH FOOD FOREST AND GARDENS REPORT

INTRODUCTION

Receive much greetings from Drylands Natural Resource Centre (DNRC) family. As we share this quarter report, we trust you’re all well and safe especially during these hard times of Corona. Despite hard times of the pandemic, you have faithfully continued to support our work. We are forever thankful for your continued financial support which has so far contributed to the DNRC success and impacts as we serve humanity. Through this project on food forests and organic gardens, our current 800 farmers are able to benefit from vegetables and fruits coming from both food forests and kitchen gardens thus making them resilient to shocks and hazards like this corona pandemic. Our model of food forests involve farmers planting fruit trees, timber trees, vegetables, fines like sweet potatoes, shrubs like bananas and climbers like passion fruits in a forest-like model. Our vegetable gardens are all organic and diversified to increase nutrition. During this covid, we had to increase the gardens to cater for increased food needs due to restricted movement and market closures. Our farmers are able to get enough vegetables and sell extra for income to buy other food items like flour etc. At DNRC premises, we continued to expand the model of food forest and organic gardens which continue to supply and feed DNRC staff, interns and visitors. This has reduced expenses on meals for the staff and sell of extra for income helps DNRC endeavours towards self-sustainability. During the reporting period, the following activities took place: gapping and expansion of food forests at DNRC, at individual farmers’ farms and increasing organic gardens among DNRC farmers. Below are detailed activities during the reporting quarter:

FOOD FOREST

During this reporting quarter, we had November-December rains so major activities included issuing farmers with diverse tree seedlings including fruit trees to expand their food forests. They also continued to weed and manage and harvest fruits from their food forests. At DNRC food forest, we continued to tend, expand, weed and harvest products from the food forest. During the quarter, we got 100kg of sweet potatoes, 30kg of bananas, 5kg of beans, 3kg of passion fruits, 2kg of cassava, 1kg of guavas and 5kg of vegetables.

KITCHEN GARDENS

Due to covid, kitchens gardens demand increased and we had to reach out more extra 200 farmers. We established bigger vegetable nurseries where we propagated more saplings which were issued and planted by our farmers in their individual organic kitchen gardens. Most vegetables planted during this quarter included: kales, spinach, black night shade, onions and amaranth. During this period, our farmers were trained and applied different dryland strategies such as sunken beds, storey gardens, basket gardens, Zia-pits and mulching. Other activities included constant spraying of natural concoctions for pests and disease control, wedding and watering.

CHALLENGES

Water is always our big challenge since we have no permanent source of water within DNRC. We continue to look for funding to secure water source through borehole but not successful yet.

FOCUS FOR THE NEXT QUARTER

  • General maintenance of both the food forests and kitchen gardens
  • Constant trainings and follow ups with farmer’s kitchen gardens and food forests
  • Propagation of both trees and vegetable saplings for both kitchen gardens and food forests
Feb 25, 2021

FOREST TRAINING & FINANCE KENYAN FARMERS REPORT

INTRODUCTION

We hope this report finds all of us well. We are happy to share with you our progress report on forestry training and finance for the last three months. We thank you for your unwavering support even during this covid. Your support continue to enable us to work with the 800 small holder farmers in the drylands of Kenya to improve livelihoods, protect the environment and build communities through tree planting and trainings. Since 2009, we have continued to plant different and multipurpose tree species among smallholder farmers and so far, the first planted trees continue to improve the local microclimate, increase local biodiversity and farmers’ incomes from the sale of timber and non timber products. The community is more organised and the social fabric continue to strengthen as they work together and train together to bring desired outputs and impacts as they envision them and guided by DNRC. Apart from ecosystem services being realized from older planted trees, farmers continue to benefit financially from the sale of Moringa seeds and leave powder, firewood, poles and fruits from the trees. During this reporting quarter, the following activities took place under this project: Tree seedlings issuance to the farmers and schools. Maintenance of the tree nursery, Farmers follows ups to their individual farms and the end of the year get together preparations. Below are the details of these activities.

DNRC TREE NURSERY PROGRAM

During the reporting quarter, the nursery staff were busy issuing farmers with ready to plant tree seedlings to plant in their individual farms during October-December rains. A total of 59,000 seedlings were issued to our farmers and 12 schools we work with to plant in their private farms and over 10,000 seedlings issued to other people outside the community. DNRC staff also continued to propagate and take care of smaller tree seedlings in the nursery to be planted in March-April rains.

OUTREACH AND TRAINING PROGRAM

During the reporting quarter, the outreach staff were majorly involved in follow ups to make sure farmers are ready for tree planting. This is by making sure that farmers are preparing holes according to the number of trees they are able to plant during this rain season. All the 14 groups were visited and were trained in dryland tree holes preparations, tree pruning and sustainable harvest of the branches and tree care.

BI-ANNUAL FARMERS GET TOGETHER

Every year, all the 800 farmers meet twice in June and December to share experiences, eat together and also celebrate their achievements together through local songs and dances. So during this reporting quarter, DNRC outreach staff were busy coordinating and mobilising farmers for the end of year farmers get together party which took place in 18th, December 2020 at DNRC grounds. Due to Covid protocols, only representatives of each group were able to physically attend. The government health protocols by then allowed only 200 people gatherings and held in open places. We followed all the health protocols to the latter and had very successful get-together without any cases of Covid in the community.

 

CHALLENGES

  • Permanent water source remain our major challenge especially during the dry seasons
  • Lower funds/resources mainly due to global covid effects on the economy

FOCUS FOR THE NEXT QUARTER

  • Farmers trainings and follow ups
  • Tree seedlings propagation with a target of 80,000 per year
  • Education on covid protocols to our farmers and in the DNRC premises

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