Local dosses to farmers
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 key agribusiness activities here include goat farming, poultry farming, apiculture, environmental conservation, and grafted mango farming. For the quarter under review, the organization planned and accomplished the following activities:
a) Poultry farming under Famers’ Cooperative Society
1432 active local farmers have been registered by the Farmers' Cooperative Society. The cooperative executive committee has been supportive of the cooperative program by establishing and operating agricultural operations that help registered farmers and their household members improve their livelihoods. The farmer's cooperative organization partnered with Heifer International to implement the CARGILL poultry project for its members with the assistance of the TMT office. 1500-month-old chicks were provided to them throughout the reporting period, along with 7.5 tonnes of food. There is a long-term plan to gift 450 mature (5-month-old) birds to other family members, which will be completed in the coming quarter.
b) Environment conservation
TMT Kenya continues to collaborate with communities, the local government, and other local organizations to determine the best ways to improve the environmental cover of the surrounding area. Within the TMT model farm tree nursery, the project has been working on raising many species of forest and fruit trees. During the month of December, plenty of rainfall was experienced, which was ideal for tree planting, and as such, the project distributed 11,700 forest tree seedlings, 1500 pawpaw seedlings, and 55 grafted mango seedlings to the community for planting. During the long rains of April through June, TMT is still working to distribute/plant more forest and fruit trees. The area has experienced severe drought due to climate change impacts during the months of January and February, thus more efforts were put on raising seedlings at the nursery.
Over 10,000 forest tree seedlings and 1000 grafted mangoes seedlings are currently awaiting planting. Following up, tree cover has had a favorable impact on sand mines, schools, churches, and communal spaces.
TMT purchased a small motorized juice processor to help with value addition and prevent post-harvest losses as the number of fruit tree farmers grows daily. With this the project was able to prepare approximately 2000 litres of fresh mango juice, providing an economic benefit to mango producers.
TMT processed 96 kg of honey from the community's first beehives, despite poor production due to climate change impacts and bees not being in peak productivity. The honey sales money has had a significant influence on the farmers' households, as they can now easily afford their daily meals. TMT collaborated with the community to install 30 extra Langstroth hives at a field demonstration apiary farm that is built to industry standards, with the goal of increasing the number of hives in the community.
Follow-up has been done with all of the bee farmers to help them form a team with leaders to combat the black market, untimely inspection, and disease control practices that would drain their production, as well as to assist them in forming an inspection team to ensure that all of the hives are inspected at the appropriate times and that everyone is actively involved.
The majority of the beehives have been examined, and additional harvest is expected in the coming quarter. TMT is still working to empower as many needy families as possible, with the goal of installing 20 more Langstroth beehives.
d) Gifting a goat project
TMT checked in on all of the goats that were given to different farmers to see how they were doing and to identify the kids who were already mature and ready to be passed on/gifted to additional needy families. According to the follow-up, 8 kids are still young, averaging 3 months old, while 49 local dosses are pregnant and due to give birth shortly. The project managed to coordinate the placement of 20 crossbreed kids (passed on) and 47 purchased local dosses to new households within the Karabondi location with the intention of expanding and working towards sustainability to the project by targeting more support from local farmers (gifting other households from the passed on kids) and donor support. This was done following a complete recruiting, verification, and correct training on goat upgrade managements, as well as a linkage to the local veterinary/para-vet personnel, to help lower death rates caused by insufficient quality goat management information.
Goat farmers have been provided with a long-term source of feed in the form of caliadra and disodium seedlings (fodder tree/crops), which are high in protein and help goats produce more milk. The goal is to improve native dosses by breeding them with exotic bucks and producing cross breed kids that adapt to the hard environment, grow quickly, have a high market value, and give milk that aids in the fight against malnutrition in HIV-positive families. This is intended to progressively introduce exotic bucks to farmers in groups of ten and place a buck within each group. As a result, it is expected that the project will have a significant influence on households over time, as it will provide food and cash.
Challenges and mitigation
The unpredictable rainfall patterns still remain a great concern as it’s the main source of water to the tree seedlings. There is still a need to plan and continue partnering with the schools and community by assigning pupils/students a role to play on environmental conservation.
With the lengthy rains forecast from April to June 2022, additional farming operations, such as forest and fruit tree planting and honey production, will be carried out, with a greater influence on the community.
Exotic buck for upgrading of local does
Forest tree vegetation
Fruit tree (pawpaw)
Fruiting from grafted mango tree
Forest tree seedlings awaiting planting
Chicks for distribution to farmers