Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness

by The Mango Tree Orphan Support Trust - Kenya
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Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Enable 1500 Kenyan Rural Farmers for Agribusiness
Tree distribution
Tree distribution

INTRODUCTION:

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:

a)     Apiculture

Beekeeping is one of the farming activities that the Mango Tree Orphan Support Trust has been supporting the farmers within Wang’chieng, and Upper Kakwajuok of Rachuonyo North Sub-county, Nyawango, and Kokwanyo regions of Rachuonyo East Sub-county respectively. This quarter, we have been following on the 40 Beehives that we distributed this year, carrying out honey harvests, hive inspections, and farmer's training. Over this period, we have harvested 94Kg of honey. This was from 12 beehives out of the 40. The Beehives were not colonized at the same time, hence they could not produce honey at the same time. Some are still in the process of and we hope it will be up by next quarter. Some of the farmers who harvested their honey have diversified their incomes to other farming activities like poultry. A particular farmer sold 20Kg of honey and purchased 20 six weeks’ old chicks to start poultry farming. We want them to diversify so that, in case one venture fails, then the remaining could support the farmer. We are planning to have Beehive keeping as one of our baseline ventures, where produces from the honey can be used to fund other ventures since beekeeping does not require so much input as compared to other farming activities.

Way forward;

  • Identify new households that will benefit from the proceeds (pass on program).
  • Identify new households that will benefit from the new beehives that we intend to distribute.
  • 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.
  • Carryout more Beehives inspections that may lead to more harvesting in the future
  • Introduce the farmers to other new ventures as a form of diversification in farming.
  • Identify new households that will benefit from the proceeds (pass on program).

b)    Goat Farming

Goat farming is one of the many ventures that TMT-Kenya is currently implementing in the communities in which we work. This year alone we distributed 78 new local Does to farmers, adding 78 new farmers to our ever-growing community of farmers. The goats are doing very well and some have already sired young ones, which will be ready for pass-on in a few months.

Pass- on- a gift

TMT-Kenya goat project has a culture of passing on young kids to new farmers. One is given a got by TMT-Kenya, and when the goat gives birth to a new kid, the first kid is passed on to another farmer so that the chain continues. For instance, we distributed 78 goats to 78 farmers and we expect that all the 78 goats will sire young kids and more 78 farmers will benefit.

So far, we have passed on 25 young kids to 25 more farmers, bringing the total number of farmers who have benefited from the goat project to 103. This project is quite viable since the mortality rate of goats is not so high compared to other livestock. Since the commencement of this project, there are farmers who have had more than six generations of goats. One receives a goat and after three years the farmer has six more goats, hence the population in her farm increases concurrently with income-generating activities.

The Ministry of Livestock has been 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.

Way forward:

  • Continue guiding and training more farmers on the modern methods of goat keeping with fewer risks of diseases and pests.
  • We currently have community veterinary entrepreneurs who support our farmers in cases of disease control and treatment. This should continue in order to keep our goats healthy for improved productivity
  • Establishment of adequate quality goat feeds as a sustainable management practice.
  • Perform routine follow-ups on the farm.

c)     Tree Planting

The period of November 2020 to March 2021, has been a dry weather condition, which has been unfavorable for tree planting. Most of our farmers have difficulties in watering their plants. Water is a general problem, actually in these regions, even for our livestock and human consumption, and as such, it wouldn’t be wise to give trees at this time. However, TMT was able to raise different varieties of both forest and fruit trees (calliandra, cypresses, eucalyptus saligna, eucalyptus grandis, whistling pine, grevillea, and grafted mangoes, totaling up to 4,950 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.

Way forward;

a)     The rainy season is just about to start and therefore we 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 sensitization training to the communities on the importance of both forest and fruit trees.

c)     We intend to source for more varieties of trees that will supplement the ones that we currently raise.

d)     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.

d)    Poultry project

TMT Kenya has embarked on a robust poultry project that involves 1600 farmers in Homa Bay county. These are farmers who have been profiled for poultry farming in partnership with Heifer International (NGO) in a project dubbed Hatching Hope. With this project in its top gear, whereby the Mango Tree Cooperative, is due to receive a poultry slaughter, TMT Kenya saw it wise to come in handy in jumpstarting the process of Poultry keeping to vulnerable farmers who otherwise if not aided would find it difficult to start the poultry project.

During this reporting period, we identified 75 vulnerable farmers, 15 from each region of our operation, and gave them a grant of 20, two-month-old live birds, each to raise in addition to a bag of 50Kg of poultry feeds each. This would help the farmers to start the project while looking for other sources from which to bolster their poultry farming. 1,500 Rainbow Roosters were distributed. In addition, 3,750Kg of poultry feeds were also distributed to the farmers during the same period.

These were the first and the second phases of the project, which targeted 125 farmers. The third and other subsequent phases are to follow in Mid-March through to May. The intention of this project is to help these farmers to start an agribusiness venture from different ventures.

e)     Aquaculture

TMT-Kenya is working with Wang’chieng, Nyandiwa, and Kiwa caregivers on how best we can help/support the vulnerable household through sustainable aquaculture that would directly improve household incomes, improved nutrition, enhanced social capital, empowered women by giving them their own independent livelihood and an improved the local environment that would be sustainable so that they are able to accommodate their families in different levels targeting the cage proceeds.

Restocking of the community ponds

The communities have prepared their previously harvested dam-lined ponds for restocking. We organized fieldwork to assist and monitor the farmers preparing their ponds. On the same note, we managed to help the 4 farmers restock their ponds with fingerlings based on their savings from the cooperative. This has been through the support of the county fisheries office who also provided technical support to the farmers. The restocking of the ponds was in line with the farmer's demand based on the source of fingerling.

Mobilization of others to top up their savings is ongoing and we expect they would top up on their savings to facilitate restocking of the ponds. Through the cooperative society, we have managed to create collaboration with the sub-county cooperative office and the ministry of livestock and fisheries on how best we can support the fish farmers through training and supplement on their inputs

New dam liners installation and stocking

Within the same period we completed the installation of the 9 dam line ponds within Konyach and Kasirawa fish farmers, the farmers have managed to completely fill their ponds with water to the required capacity. We conducted different pieces of training on pond managements including dam line installation, pumping in and out water, pond fertilization/manure to boost algae/micro-organisms development to supplement the fish feeds, feeding stages and routine monthly sampling. The 9 households’ farmers have managed to completely fertilizer the ponds awaiting the fingerlings from the supplier to manure for stocking.

Fish cages

Even though the cages are in individual private premises, we are working closely in hand with the 9 lead caregivers from the 9 groups who play the role of linkage to the rest of the team, they visit the site and observe/practice all the operation as they are trained on cage management practices as we planning to enroll the project to them in the near future for their own operations and management. They are also being trained on cage installation and management, sourcing for recommendable post fingerlings for the cages, cage stocking, repairs, routine monthly sampling, feeding, and harvesting of standard fish to the market. Again, on the same monthly TMT conducted business management skills to equip the caregivers with the information of how best they can run their businesses on the following sub-topics;

  • Drawing business plan and market survey.
  • Customer care and retention.
  • Profit and loss account books.
  • Profit maximization.
  • Risk and opportunities within their business.
  • Expansion and savings.

Household survey findings

TMT conducted a physical interview with the caregivers and the orphans and the following were our findings;

  • A concern when it comes to caregivers/beneficiaries' health status as they lack information on how to acquire health insurance cards, monthly deposits and its importance due to the extreme poverty level on the caregivers.
  • High level of dependency as a result of HIV/AIDS which as accelerated challenges to the communities when it comes to food insecurity, high number of orphaned children left under the care of unemployed widows and vulnerable caregivers.
  • High risk of HIV and poor sexual health due to the high prevalence of sexual exploitation linked to lake fishing.
  • The major source of income is fishing in the Lake Victoria and is slowly becoming unreliable due to destruction of fish breeding areas and overfishing.
  • Due to unreliable climates and the global impacts within the area which have resulted to reduced farm produce leading to great food insecurity and nutrition effects.
  • Extremely high number of vulnerable households with are single-headed with women who fully depend on relationships with fishermen in order to participate in the fishing industry for their livelihoods.
  • Migration of caregivers with their orphans from beach to beach as a result of COVID 19 and in search of fish which have affected their livelihoods.
  • High number of gender based violent/young children defilement and abuse cases within the region.

Harvesting of fish cages in Kiwa

We managed to harvest and make sales of fish from 4 cages for a period of 2 weeks. The market price was Ksh.300 per kg of fish.

With the four cages, 2886 Kgs of fish was realized and part of the proceeds have been plowed back to help in restocking and also aid in paying fees for one of the girls in secondary day school among the vulnerable household.

Way forward

  • TMT will channel the little proceeds from the cages to support beneficiaries more so the vulnerable whose rights have been violated/abused, school fees of the orphans in school and those joining secondary, to boost caregivers’ small/medium/micro-business within the Island so that they can take good care of their households and lastly to support the restocking process of the cages.
  • Continue with the training recipient farmers on group savings and loaning activities and sales of mature fish from the remaining fish cages.
  • To stock the newly installed dam line ponds.
  • To monitor the progress of the project.
  • To collaborate further with the county Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, sub-county Cooperative Society Office, and any other organization to support on-field school training and any other adjustment for the project.

Challenges

  • Due to the effects of global warming, we have had a share of its impact in our project area and specifically the earth ponds along the lake and 2 dam liners this has been aggravated by the inconsiderate sand mining along the lake, we, therefore, are working on improving environmental cover by promoting tree plantation cover.
  • Imbalance growth rate; happened due to struggling for existence as the strong fish would capture feeds and scare away the weak ones during feeding time. To solve these, TMT would wish to improve to circular cages.
  • Mortalities; from the sample data, we realized high mortality records from the cages, we expected these to be as a result of the escape of fingerlings from the cages and struggling of fish during feeding resulting in deaths. We would wish to expand on bigger circular cages for more spacing during feeding though they are quite expensive.

 

 

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.

Challenges

  • 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.
  • With our poultry project moving on well, we like to appeal for more funding so that more farmers would benefit from this project.

II.     Plans for Next Quarter

  • The third and fourth phases of the poultry gift pass on is to take place in the next quarter, whereby more than 50 farmers are going to start poultry agribusinesses.
  • More training for the new households on beehives management and timely harvesting and the new poultry farmers in best practices in poultry keeping.
  • The loaning process which has to benefit farmers to start poultry farming is in the process and is likely to commence in the next quarter.
  • 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 if funds allow
  • More goats will be passed on to other farmers to increase the placement target.
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Bee farmers undergoing training
Bee farmers undergoing training

INTRODUCTION:

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:

a)     Apiculture

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.

Way forward;

  • 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).

b)    Aquaculture

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.

Fish cage

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.

Way forward

  • 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.

Way forward:

  • 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.

Way forward;

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.

Challenges

-        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
Beneficiaries receiving tree seedlings
Day-old-chicks at the broader
Day-old-chicks at the broader
A beneficiary with his established tree plantation
A beneficiary with his established tree plantation
Full grown chicken at model farm
Full grown chicken at model farm
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INTRODUCTION:

The Mango Tree Orphan Trust Fund -Kenya has been implementing the achievable ambitious plan of improving the livelihood of 1500 rural farmers through agribusiness. It has been more than a year since the project was initiated and several agribusiness projects have been initiated and are ongoing. The project's fundraising target is $50,000 and we have been able to raise $13,678. This amount has been used to construct a modern grains store, construction of a modernized poultry farm, buying the poultry farm inputs, buying the poultry feeds milling machine, and has been used to loan the registered farmers in the cooperative society capital for buying soya bean seeds for planting. This same amount has been used to initiate some agribusiness activities that benefit the farmers. The key agribusiness activities here include goat farming, poultry farming, apiculture, aquaculture, cassava farming, ground nuts farming, mango farming, soya beans farming, and tree planting. For the quarter under review, the organization planned and accomplished the following activities:

FARMING ACTIVITIES

The organization in partnership with the registered local farmers, County, and National Government agricultural extension officers and other agribusiness institutions implements many agribusiness projects within Homabay and Migori Counties.  The organization is implementing the following specific agribusiness projects:

a)      Apiculture

Out of the 40 hives distributed to the farmers in the preceding periods, 28 hives have attracted the bees and the progress is well. Harvesting is targeted to happen in 5 months after a strong formation of the cobs that can hold more honey by August 2020. The initially distributed hives have produced up to 60kgs of pure honey in the last 3 months which is quite low. This is a result of movement restrictions imposed by the government (curfew) as a measure to reduce the spread of COVID-19 which has been a honey harvesting barrier. The restrictions have therefore resulted in a negative impact on the farmers’ incomes. We hope for more harvest after the uplift of the curfew.

Way forward

  • Conduct routine follow up
  • More training for the new households on beehives management and timely harvesting
  • Supporting the beneficiaries on the processing of pure natural honey, packaging, and marketing.

b)      Aquaculture

We fully restocked 37 ponds in our last year’s budget which were well managed up to harvesting point. Out of the 37 ponds 5 dam liner ponds were at the model farm in Kosele TMT main office and 14 community liner ponds. The remaining 18 ponds were community earth ponds. The 18 earth ponds were fully submerged by the floods from the raising lake water level due to global warming and other challenges. Despite the numerous challenges faced by our farmers with earth ponds along the lake we still were able to record some meaningful positive results from the liner ponds.

Achievements

  • The farmers manage to harvest 12 liner ponds successfully with proceeds record averagely of between Ksh 25,000 to Ksh 30,000.
  • Two farmers can be self-reliant, hence fully graduated but still closely monitored by our field team.
  • 5 Farmers successfully saved part of their proceeds with the TMT farmers’ cooperative promising continuity.
  • One earth pond fish farmers managed to harvest his pond successfully despite the challenges.
  • Most of the fish farmers used their incomes to pay school fees for their children in the months of January and February

Fish Cages

In the reporting period, our fish cage project in Kiwa Island has been successfully started with the installation of 9 cages fully stocked with 1500 fingerlings each, summing up to 13500 fish targeted at the harvesting of all the 9 cages. As at the reporting time we have mobilized a total of 51 households around the project area targeting to benefit 357 people directly and indirectly. The community remains positive with the project idea but due to the COVID-19, we are not able to continue with our planned capacity building activities for the targeted household clusters as earlier scheduled though the routine fish cage feeding and management are ongoing with the help of community service volunteers.

Challenges

  • Due to the effects of global warming, we have had a share of its impact in our project area and specifically the earth ponds along the lake this has been aggravated by the inconsiderate sand mining along the lake. The farmers lost fish stock worth KSH 125000 in 17 ponds.
  • 2 dam liners are submerged with the rising water level from the lake which cannot allow the building of dykes and construction of new ponds along the lake.

Way forward

  • We consider investing in dam liner ponds for the affected households targeting 10 households.
  • We are encouraging a few farmers who have land on higher grounds to construct new earth ponds
  • More focus should be directed to fish cage farming since it is the only safer way to go

c)      Goat Farming

Most of the farmers feel so happy and motivated with the project as they can now smile 3 months after the placement due to kids' delivered reports. Based on the project goal of initiating, enhancing and providing a sustainable alternative source of livelihoods through a meaningful, participatory and intensive dairy goat upgrading project at the household level, a good outcome has been seen and better reports received from individual farmers where 61% of the local does have delivered kids of averagely 2 months old and most of these households are headed by the women. This is in conjunction with improved nutrition and health among the beneficiaries as a result of the consumption of good milk from the goats. We, therefore, believe to receive more positive reports from the goat farmers as the field officers do not conduct their routine daily monitoring as a result of COVID-19 pandemic and expect to extend to the remaining farmers who are still faced with similar economic and social challenges, these would increase the number of dairy goat crosses visible within the project area.

Way forward on Goat Farming

  • Passing on of the delivered kids to other farmers to increase placement
  • More placement to be carried out to hit the 44% remaining for placement
  • Continue working with the County Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to monitor any outbreak of infectious diseases, vaccination, and prompt treatment of the goats.
  • Distribute fodder trees and legumes to the beneficiaries and train them on feed management.
  • Liaise with the veterinary officer to train the farmers on goat breeding management.
  • Establishment of a sustainable management practice of appropriate quality goat feeds.
  • Conduct routine on-farm follow-ups

d)      Tree Planting

The Mango Tree Orphan Support Trust has been working with the communities, schools, and other local organizations to mitigate on reclamation of the land left bare due to sand harvesting which was a catastrophe in waiting.

The Infrastructure is impassable with a total power blackout for over 1 year as the root of the electric poles were weakened by the sand harvesting.

Though drawn back by the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of tree distribution, TMT has managed to distribute 72,165 tree seedlings of various species ranging from Eucalyptus, Pines, Gravellier, Calliadra (which is a fodder tree) and 180 fruits trees comprising of grafted mangoes, Avocado and Pawpaw which is to help in reclamation of the harvested sites, boost the tree cover which is far below and introduce fruit tree per home for value addition while instilling the culture of a tree growing in the community.

The community has embraced this initiative as households are encouraged to embrace and join The Mango Tree Farmers Cooperative Society.

The tree's survival rate is well with a record of 89% picking up and growing strongly. Therefore we need to conserve the environment at all costs as the environment and the economy are two sides of the same coin.

Way forward

  • To distribute another batch of trees in August during the short rains
  • Do follow up and monitor the progress of the already growing trees
  • To continue collaborating and sensitizing the communities on the importance of trees and taking care of our environment.
  • To link up with the local administration and the Kenya Forest Service department to strongly intervene and minimize human-animal conflicts hence ensuring that growth is attained and control on cutting down trees aimlessly.

SUCCESS FACTOR

The organization has been able to utilize the raised $13,678 into various projects that are of benefit to the organization.

Challenges:

  • Power fluctuation is a challenge in the poultry farm. The incubators require 100% availability of electricity for the best hatching rate. Power outage makes the project cater to the expensive cost of fuel for the generator that acts as a backup when there is a power outage.
  • The organization is grateful to the donors who constantly support the projects through donations. However, funding remains a key challenge to implementing this project since the funds raised has not been enough for the successful implementation of the activities. Out of the $50,000 budget, $1 has been successfully fundraised and the organization is, therefore, appealing to the donors for continued support. The organization is also utilizing all available opportunities in the various projects to ensure that it gets income from the various projects to fund and expand on its projects. Moreover, the organization utilizes labor from the community volunteers as well as the senior beneficiaries who support the organization as a way of giving back to the community.

PLANS FOR NEXT QUARTER

  • Poultry project has got a plan of purchasing a solar-powered incubator to solve the problem of power fluctuation that reduces the hatching rate.
  • More training for the new households on beehives management and timely harvesting
  • 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.
  • Exploring ways in which fish farmers can diversify and start fish cage farming
  • Passing on of the delivered goats' kids to other farmers to increase the placement target.
  • Stocking of the ready earth ponds and fish cages
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:

The Mango Tree Orphan Trust Fund -Kenya has been implementing the achievable ambitious plan of improving the livelihood of 1500 rural farmers through agribusiness. It has been more than a year since the project was initiated and several agribusiness projects have been initiated and are ongoing. The project's fundraising target is $50,000 and we have been able to raise $13,643. This amount has been used to construct a modern grains store, construction of a modernized poultry farm, buying the poultry farm inputs, buying the poultry feeds milling machine and has been used to loan the registered farmers in the cooperative society capital for buying soya bean seeds for planting. This same amount has been used to initiate some agribusiness activities that benefit the farmers. The key agribusiness activities here include goat farming, poultry farming, apiculture, aquaculture, cassava farming, ground nuts farming, mango farming, soya beans farming and tree planting. For the quarter under review, the organization planned and accomplished the following activities:

I.       FARMING ACTIVITIES

The organization in partnership with the registered local farmers, County and National Government agricultural extension officers and other agribusiness institutions implements many agribusiness projects within Homabay and Migori Counties.  The organization is implementing the following specific agribusiness projects:

a)     Apiculture

Beekeeping keeping has been progressing very well in this reporting period. This has necessitated more distribution of beehives to farmers with an additional 40 beehives being provided to other farmers hence increasing the number of beekeeping farmers to 104 and beehives so far distributed to 181. Honey production has been so good during this period, giving a product of 404kg of pure quality honey processed.

b)     Aquaculture

We have experienced long heavy rains during this period and this has affected the ponds along the lake shows giving a total loss to farmers since the floodwaters swept all the fish to the lake. Nevertheless, there has been a good harvest of fish from the ponds in the office demonstration farm and currently, harvesting is ongoing for the two mature ponds.

Plans are underway to help salvage the situation of the ponds along the lake shows by building dikes to help in preventing the lake water levels from reaching the ponds and even the floodwaters from sweeping the fish away.

 

c)     Poultry Farm

During this reporting period, the two incubators were not stocked with eggs for hatching due to frequent fluctuations of power failures that affect the incubation. However, 54 birds remained at the poultry house having sold some with 5 Cocks and 49 hens. 18 hens are currently laying eggs daily and there are already 10 crates of eggs each with a capacity of 30 eggs in stock ready for the market.

Way forward of Poultry farming

  • Employed a reliable farm assistant
  • Improve data for the poultry farm for easy monitoring
  • Avail reliable and quality feeds supplies
  • Install solar panels to act as a backup for the power outages

 

d)     Goat Farming

There has been massive placement of local does to farmers with a total of 74 Does distributed to 74 farmers making cumulative farmers benefiting from the placement to be 215 with 255 Does. This placement has contributed to about 56% of the targeted 130 more farmers who were to benefit and this was attributed to heavy rains that were experienced at the beginning of the year that brought outbreak of diseases and also the high cost of local Does purchases than the budgeted amount.

Way forward on Goat Farming

-      Passing on of the delivered kids to other farmers to increase placement

-     

A beneficiary with her gifted local does

More placement to be carried out to hit the 44% target remaining for placement

-      Continue working with the County Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to monitor any outbreak of infectious diseases, vaccination and prompt treatment of the goats.

 

e)     Tree Planting

Since the cessation of the rains, the organization embarked on raising tree seedlings for planting during the next long rains in March 2020. Currently, 40,000 pot seedlings have been raised ready for planting with the four planting strategies in mind: Woodlots, Edges/Boundaries, Orchards, and Swampy/sand mines areas.

Thorough mobilization has been going on in public primary and secondary schools in which almost 120 school heads have granted the organization permission through writing, that planting can be done in their school compounds. Sensitization is still ongoing so that even churches and private institutions will be willing to provide a plot where at least 1000 tree seedlings can be planted.

Part of the potted tree seedlings at the nursery


It is estimated that by the end of April 2020, 60000 tree seedlings would have been planted since plans are underway to increase the potting of the seedling with additional 20000 seedlings.

Way forward on Tree planting

-        To hit a target of 60,000 tree seedlings distribution by end of April 2020 as long rains continue

-        Continue with offering farmers with extension services on the best strategy to employ while planting depending on the kind of soil topology of the farmer.

-        Concentrate more on reclaiming the deforested sand mines and swampy farms.

-        Engage other stakeholders e.g. schools, hospitals, and government in the planting of trees within their institutions or government lands.

II.    SUCCESS FACTOR

The organization has been able to utilize the raised $13,643 into various projects that are of benefit to the organization.

Challenges

-          Power fluctuation is a challenge in the poultry farm. The incubators require 100% availability of electricity for the best hatching rate. Power outage makes the project cater to the expensive cost of fuel for the generator that acts as a backup when there is a power outage.

-          The organization is grateful to the donors who constantly support the projects through donations. However, funding remains a key challenge to implementing this project since the funds raised has not been enough for the successful implementation of the activities. Out of the $50,000 budget, $13,643 has been successfully fundraised and the organization is, therefore, appealing to the donors for continued support. The organization is also utilizing all available opportunities in the various projects to ensure that it gets income from the various projects to fund and expand on its projects. Moreover, the organization utilizes the cheap labor from the community volunteers as well as the senior beneficiaries who support the organization as a way of giving back to the community.

III.  Plans for Next Quarter

-          Poultry project has got a plan of purchasing a solar-powered incubator to solve the problem of power fluctuation that reduces the hatching rate.

-          Poultry farm has plans of reaching over 1600 farmers and therefore start thinking about value addition for farmers e.g. processing and packaging.

-          There is a total of 55 farmers groups that do savings and table banking on their own. The project plans to help these groups with money for table banking to boost their loan interests.

-          Continue with farmers extension services for tree planting to understand the kind of their soil topology

-          Install a solar panel at the poultry farm to be able to start another round of incubation.

-          Working with fish farmers to construct dikes around the ponds along the lake shows.

-          Passing on of the delivered goats' kids to other farmers to increase the placement target.

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The Mango Tree Orphan Support Trust -Kenya has been implementing achievable ambitious plan of improving the livelihood of 1500 rural farmers through agribusiness. It has been more than a year since the project was initiated and a number of agribusiness projects have been initiated and are ongoing. The project’s fundraising target is $50,000 and we have been able to raise $13,643. This amount and other external support has been used to construct a modern grains store, construction of a modernized poultry farm, buying the poultry farm inputs, buying of the poultry feeds milling machine and has been used to loan the registered farmers in the cooperative society capital for buying soya bean seeds for planting. This same amount has been used to initiate a number of agribusiness activities that benefit the farmers. The key agribusiness activities here include: goat farming, poultry farming, apiculture, aquaculture, cassava farming, ground nuts farming, mango farming, soya beans farming and tree planting.

 

i.                 Farming Activities

The organization in partnership with the registered local farmers, County and National Government agricultural extension officers and other agribusiness institutions implements a number of agribusiness projects within Homabay and Migori Counties.  The organization is implementing the following specific agribusiness projects:

  1. Apiculture – The organization has a total of 141 bee hives that benefit a total of 64 farmers. Because of the bad weather there was much honey harvesting during the reporting period and about 26kg of honey was harvested.
  2. Aquaculture

21 farmers are benefiting from the aquaculture (Fish) project having 37 ponds stocked with fingerlings where 19 of the ponds are constructed using dam-liner and 18 of the ponds being constructed along the lake shows. There are additional 5 dam-liner ponds at the office demonstration farm with sampling done in November, after a period of 7 months, having the fish average sample size being 241.12gms. A farmer with 1 pond along the lake has managed to harvest the fish from his pond and was able to raise approximately USD 500 as total output. Where 30% of the output is saved in the cooperative account for the next restocking to make the project sustainable

 

  1. Poultry Farm – During the reporting period, the organization was able to stock its two incubators with quality eggs in two phases. In the first phase, the incubator was stocked to capacity with 1056 eggs of which the hatching rate was 86% (911). There are 200 chicks remaining while 512 chicks were sold. The second phase of incubator stocking was done with 934 eggs of which the hatching rate was 13% (113). The second phase of stocking was affected by power fluctuations that affected the incubation process. Of the 113 that hatched 23 were sold and 64 still remaining to be kept has layers and broilers.

Way forward of Poultry farming

  • Install a solar system for the incubators
  • Employ a skilled and reliable farm assistant
  • Ensure high hygiene standards
  • Optimize on all the key management practices
  • Ensure optimum production against structure capacity and investment
  • Ensure an elaborate marketing strategy for the products e.g. fertilized eggs, day old chicks, week old to four weeks, broilers and layers
  • Offer an elaborate extension service for potential reliable customers

 

  1. Goat Farming

141 farmers who were given local does and exotic bucks. A total of 181 local does were issued to the farmers with 40 exotic bucks given to service a group of 20 local does. Due to expansion, we are targeting 130 more farmers to benefit from the new phase. So far 59 does have kidded with 50 of the local does expected to deliver by the end of the year. 40 kids are available for being passed on to other household farmers so that the benefiting farmer’s base is increased by 13%. Of the total 181 local does, there has been a 2% (4) incidences of deaths reported due to an outbreak of an infectious livestock disease that was contained by the Ministry of Agriculture and Veterinary Services.

Way forward on Goat Farming

-        Continue with more purchases of local does and exotic bucks for distribution to other remaining farmers especially The Mango Tree Orphan Support Trust Community Health Volunteers

-        Passing on of the kids to other farmers

-        Liaise with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to monitor any outbreak of infectious diseases, vaccination and prompt treatment of the goats.

 

  1. Tree Planting

The organization has had to distribute tree seedlings to farmers after an extensive extension services offered to farmers on the four (4) strategies that will be used in the planting of the trees so that the farmers benefit inclusively. The four strategies will among other help in demarcation of their farm boundaries and also in the restoration of the sand mines and rehabilitate the swampy farms.

The strategies includes:

  1. Woodlots: The farmer is to allocate part of the farm measuring approx. 5mX10m where trees are planted at a distance of 1M apart creating a beautiful forest providing shade and providing firewood when the tree branches are pruned.
  2. Edges/ Boundaries: Trees are planted along the edges of the farm which provides a good demarcation for the various plots the farmer owns at a distance of 1 meter apart hence solving many land boundary disputes. The trees planted along the edges/ boundaries are those that do not interfere with the farmers activities or destroy the soil properties.
  3. Orchards: Farmers are provided with fruit trees that are planted at a distance of 5mX5m within their farms or homesteads. This will provide good shade and also help uplift the economic power of the farmer and increase the food security of the farmer thereby uplifting the general health.
  4. Swampy/ sand mines: Forest trees planting in swampy and flood prone areas, in a keenly monitored and intensively managed process, will facilitated rehabilitation of sand mines, enhance household income, nutrition and improve the environment and ecosystem, giving rise to resilient community with a healthy and safe environment

In the last three months, the organization distributed about 3000 tree seedlings to various farmers through the Mango Tree Cooperative Society where each person was allocated 50 seedlings each of forest trees.

Way forward on Tree planting

-        To hit a target of 40,000 tree seedlings distribution by end of March 2020 at the onset of long rains.

-        Continue with offering farmers with extension services on the best strategy to employ while planting depending on the kind of soil topology of the farmer.

-        Concentrate more on reclaiming the deforested sand mines and swampy farms.

-        Engage other stakeholders e.g. schools, hospitals and government in the planting of trees within their institutions or government lands.

 

Success Factor

The organization has been able to utilize the raised $13,643 into various projects that are of benefit to the organization.

Challenges

-          Power fluctuations is a challenge in the poultry farm. The incubators require 100% availability of electricity for the best hatching rate. Power outage makes the project cater for the expensive cost of fuel for generator that acts as a backup when there is power outage.

-          The organization is grateful to the donors who constantly support the projects through donation. However, funding remains a key challenge to implementing this project since the funds raised has not been enough for successful implementation of the activities. Out of the $50,000 budget, $13,643 has been successfully fundraised and the organization is, therefore, appealing to the donors for continued support. The organization is also utilizing all available opportunities in the various projects to ensure that it gets income from the various projects to fund and expand on its projects. Moreover, the organization utilizes the cheap labor from the community volunteers as well as the senior beneficiaries who support the organization as a way of giving back to the community.

Plans for Next Quarter

-          Poultry project has got a plan of purchasing a solar powered incubator so as to solve the problem of power fluctuation that reduces the hatching rate.

-          Poultry farm has plans of reaching over 1600 farmers and therefore start thinking about value addition for farmers e.g. processing and packaging.

-          There is a total of 55 farmers groups that does savings and table banking on their own. The project plans to help these groups with money for table banking to boost on their loan interests.

-          Continue with farmers extension services for tree planting so as to understand the kind of their soil topology.

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Organization Information

The Mango Tree Orphan Support Trust - Kenya

Location: Kisumu - Kenya
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @tmt_kenya
Project Leader:
Consolata Achieng
Kisumu, Kenya
$13,678 raised of $50,000 goal
 
110 donations
$36,322 to go
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Pay Bill: 891300
Account: GG32068

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