Warm greetings from Drylands Natural Resources Centre family. We trust that you and yours are safe and well during this Covid-19 pandemic. Our farmers and DNRC staff are safe and so is the whole community. We don’t have Covid-19 case in our community yet and we continue to take care and follow the guidelines. Just like other Countries, the effect of the pandemic is hitting hard to our economy and our program. Most of the families we serve their family members have been laid off and with market day’s shutdowns, social gathering banned and curfew, livelihoods and food security have been seriously affected. DNRC as an organization has also been affected both programmatically financially. We can only meet and train our farmers individually in their farms unlike earlier group trainings. We stopped our regular short courses on permaculture/agro ecology and also volunteers/visitors visits program which supported DNRC financially and her sustainability. This has slowed down our activities substantially though we continue to help our farmers cope with this pandemic by starting organic kitchen gardens and continuous tree planting especially fruit trees for increased food and nutrition security.
In the flipside, we are happy to report that through this project you have been funding, our farmers have been more resilient during this Covid 19 pandemic due to our diversified tree species. Farmers have been able to eat many fruits ranging from avocado, pawpaw, guavas, mangoes, oranges etc. thus boosting their immunity through increased food and nutrition. They are also selling extra fruits for income. They have also being selling timber/poles for income to cushion them from lost livelihoods. The trees have also been providing “feeling good” to our farmers as they visit and meditate in their woodlots especially during this time of ‘loneliness” and ‘depression’ due to social distancing and isolation. We can only say thank you so much for your continued financial support which has played a big role towards the success of this project and making our 800 smallholder farmers more resilient to Covid-19.
During the reporting quarter, the following activities took place: Individual farmers on farm training and follow up, tree seedling issuance and tree seedling propagation and general nursery management.
DNRC TREE NURSERY PROGRAM
During the reporting quarter, major DNRC activities were propagating more trees to be issued in October-December rains. The nursery team was busy soil potting with a total of 5,000 seedlings sown in the plastic pots/bags. Some of the tree species sown and potted included: pawpaw, Gravellia, mangoes, eucalyptus camandulensis, Citrus, avocado and melia. The 25, 242 tree species balance which remained during October-December rains issuance were also issued to the farmers for gapping during March- April 2020 rains. The remaining few are being altered and managed in the nursery.
OUTREACH AND TRAINING PROGRAM
During the reporting quarter, our outreach personnel visited 140 individual farmers and trained them on their farms. Due to covid-19, the follow up and training included kitchen gardens for self-help vegetable production. We stopped group farmers training and only two groups out of the 14 groups and 12 schools were trained before covid-19.
- Due to Covid-19 challenges, we have resulted to only individual farmer’s farms training and follow up. This need more resources in terms of personnel and transport which is a challenge also. The way forward is to appeal to our faithful donors to continue helping us and hope things will normalize and go back to group training and our shortcourses training and visitors for boost our income for smooth running of other programs.
FOCUS FOR THE NEXT QUARTER
- Trainings and follow ups of individual farmer’s farms.
- Continue with propagation of more seedlings and especially fruit trees as a way of adapting to Covid- 19.