Bee farmers undergoing training
The Mango Tree Orphan Trust Fund-Kenya has initiated a workable ambitious initiative to boost the livelihoods of 1500 rural farmers through agribusiness. We have launched and continue to implement several agribusiness initiatives with the goal of the project fundraising being $50,000 with $15,675 realized.
The organization organized and rolled out the following activities for the latest quarter:
I. FARMING ACTIVITIES
The organization, in collaboration with registered local farmers, county and national government agricultural extension officers, and other agribusiness institutions, is undertaking a number of agribusiness projects in the Homabay and Migori counties. The organization executed the following specific agribusiness projects:
The Mango Tree Orphan Support Trust-Kenya has distributed 40 beehives to farmers that have all attracted bee colonies and have done well. There were plans to carry out the first bee harvest during the month of September 2020, but due to the government's restriction of the dark to dawn curfew that hinders movement and thus makes it impossible to carry out harvesting as this is the best time when the bees are docile. However, eight (8) farmers risked the situation and made some harvests during the period July-September 2020 with the processing of honey still in progress. As part of the transition to other disadvantaged households, the farmers decided that the office could subtract 10% of the total production per harvest. COVID-19 has had an effect on bee farmers' training, as farmers cannot gather for sessions.
- Carry out more continuous training to all farmers so that they have information on how to domesticate bees in the event of any emergency.
- Identifying key farmers among themselves to be further trained in controls on hives, harvesting, and general management.
- Plan for harvesting early next month and processing of honey as soon as the lifting of the limitation of the curfew hour.
- Deduct 10% of the proceeds and purchase more hives for new households.
- Identify new households that will benefit from the proceeds (pass on program).
With both the dam liner and earth ponds, aquaculture is one of the projects that have been functioning for a long time, with more focus now being on fish cages as it has a faster return compared to the ponds.
As a demo, the TMT-K model farm supported farmers with on-site fishpond management training and feeding skills. Due to the better outcome of the model farm ponds obtained during harvesting, this has boosted the farmer's morale. For the period ending July-September 2020, we restocked the ponds with fingerlings.
Sustainability of the ponds
Two (2) farmers that initially graduated, are now self-reliant and doing well with the project over the period under review. The farmers are still struggling to make ends meet with the project, despite the numerous challenges experienced due to the global warming impacts resulting in flooding and causing the wash-away and submergence of ponds. Ten (10) other farmers who had their savings with the cooperative are now in the process of replenishing the ponds, although the feeding challenge remains because the initial income cannot manage the ponds completely.
Reviving of the ponds
TMT is working on the installation of new dam liner ponds for already identified farmers as the affected farmers revive their ponds, where they dig new ponds on higher grounds to mitigate the effects of floods.
The fish cage project supports 58 beneficiaries with 30 caregivers from Kiwa Island and 71 beneficiaries from Nyandiwa village. The Community Service Volunteers assist in feeding and management with a scheduled weekly visit to the community done for onsite training and monitoring purposes. The livelihood project has organized and supported the community in different projects including:
With 30 caregivers from Kiwa Island and 71 beneficiaries from Nyandiwa village, the fish cage project supports 58 recipients. With a scheduled weekly visit to the community for onsite training and monitoring purposes, the Community Service Volunteers assist with feeding and management of the fish cages. The livelihood project has organized and supported the community in various projects, including
- Engaging their children during this period of COVID-19 in village learning schools to prevent idleness.
- Involving both volunteers and caregivers in agricultural projects, such as vegetable planting within the island, to promote food security in the island's missing vegetable/green line.
- Follow-up and evaluation of progress made by fish farmers and installation of new dam liner ponds
- More training for farmers in the management of ponds and fish cages.
- Evaluations of Household Vulnerability (Nyandiwa group)
- Sale of mature fish, repair and replenishment of cages of fish
- Train recipient farmers on group savings and loaning activities
c) Goat Farming
Since its start, the goat project has been advancing well. In July-September 2020, there was an increase in the birth rate of 68%.
Pass- on- a gift
TMT held a pass-on-gift ceremony where initial beneficial farmers gave four (4) upgraded goats to new households who were waiting for such an opportunity to receive crossbreed goats.
Those who succeeded in transferring the goats to new households felt satisfied that the goal of the first cycle was achieved and promised to manage the parent stock to generate more children for their households. At the same time, there is more encouragement and motivation for new households to do the same for the next beneficiaries.
The Ministry of Livestock was supportive and it was of great importance in keeping the goats safe. The organization has been distributing calliandra for further support to farmers, which is a fodder tree mostly aimed at boosting the feeds for goat farmers.
- Continue to monitor any outbreak of infectious diseases, vaccination, and prompt treatment of the goats with the County Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.
- More Distribution to beneficiaries of the fodder trees and legumes and training them in feed management
- Establishment of adequate quality goat feeds as a sustainable management practice.
- Perform routine follow-ups on the farm.
d) Tree Planting
During the July-September 2020 reporting period, TMT was able to raise different varieties of both forest and fruit trees (calliandra, cypresses, eucalyptus saligna, eucalyptus grandis, whistling pine, grevillea, grafted mangoes, pawpaws, money plants, oranges, tissue culture bananas) totaling up to 46,842 seedlings. The initially distributed seedlings are well established and the community tree cover expected to improve in the next six (6) months with the current short rainfall.
The already raised tree seedlings are still in distribution until mid-October, as the short rains are still promising. TMT distributed 20,214 of the raised forest and fruit tree seedlings to TMT caregivers, farmers, and OVCs with anticipation to extend the distribution to schools and churches as soon as the school re-opens from the COVID-19 Pandemic Break.
a) Continue with the tree distribution and monitoring the progress of the already established trees to ensure that tree cover in the community is improved.
b) More training sensitization the communities on the importance of both forest and fruit trees.
c) To continue linking up with the local administration and the Kenya Forest Service department to strongly intervene and minimize human-animal habitat conflicts to ensure growth is attained and control on cutting down trees aimlessly.
e) Poultry project
The Mango Tree Orphan Support Trust Kenya has embarked on a high profile poultry project in collaboration with Heifer International, the county government as well as other stakeholders. Subsequently, we have profiled 1,600 poultry farmers in 7 regions within Rachuonyo North, Rachuonyo South, and Rachuonyo East Sub counties of Homa Bay County. The project's main objective is to encourage intensive poultry agribusiness in the community, as well as proper nutrition in the communities. Our role is to provide the farmers with both technical and material support in order for them to implement this project.
Through the Farmers Training Centre built previously by this campaign, we have intensified training for our farmers using community extension veterinary officers, where farmers with difficulties with their poultry flocks can get help and training on how to take care of their flocks.
In addition, the project has begun giving out loans in terms of poultry equipment, construction of poultry houses, the supply of chicks for rearing, as well as feeds for the first 30 farmers in our profile list. This process will continue until we reach all our profiled farmers.
Our Model Farm continues to support our farmers by providing the best examples for this project. We currently have over 1,000 chickens that we use to show our farmers how to keep chickens in the right way.
II. SUCCESS FACTOR
The organization has been able to make use of the amount raised in the various projects that are of benefit to the organization indicated in the projects mentioned above.
- We are still unable to run our poultry incubators because they need 100 percent electricity supply and without which we may incur losses in this project. We currently have 1-day-old chicks sourced from other farms, which is a little expensive.
- Funding remains a key challenge for the implementation of this project as the funds raised have not been sufficient for the successful implementation of the activities.
- We've fully started our fish cages project, unfortunately, we've lost a lot due to wandering fish predators, which have destroyed our cages and allowed most of our fish to escape.
III. Plans for Next Quarter
- More training for the new households on beehives management and timely harvesting and the new poultry farmers in best practices in poultry keeping.
- We intend to roll out the loaning process to all our profiled farmers in order for them to embrace fully the poultry project.
- Supporting the beneficiaries on the processing of pure natural honey, packaging, and marketing.
- Install a solar panel at the poultry farm to be able to start another round of incubation.
- Passing-on of the delivered goats' kids to other farmers to increase the placement target.
- Stocking of the ready earth ponds and fish cages
Beneficiaries receiving tree seedlings
Day-old-chicks at the broader
A beneficiary with his established tree plantation
Full grown chicken at model farm