We are happy as we do this report since in previous report we were very worried due to delayed rains in most parts of the country. As previously reported, the rains had started sometimes in April 2019 and farmers were happy as this continued and they were able to plant their crops after a long wait. The farms are now very green with a lot of crops doing great. Our youth politics were excited to report back to school after April holiday and they immediately started working on their gardens. We supported them with seeds and planting materials as earlier reported and they were very happy. Their farms are looking nice with vegetables and other crops growing well. Most of them are now harvesting vegetables and other short term crops like peas. They are very excited also to have green vegetables in their meals and some of them are even selling surplus as they normally do when they have them in plenty for income generation. In the previous report, we had reported that we will discuss the issue of rain water harvesting with the schools management to take advantage of the long rains. Discussion was done in all polytechnics and the management liked the idea of doing simple rain water harvesting but most of them said they were not in a position to start due to the very many challenges they had. They told us since it was very dry in the previous months, most parents were not able to pay school fees for their children in time hence very difficult moments for the schools to cater for the schools basic needs. Most parents did not pay school fees for their children in first term and they had promised to clear fees balances once they start selling their farm produce. There were some polytechnics who had installed simple water harvesting structures previously and we encouraged them to improve them for more benefits. Our youth students were eager to learn on how they could install these structures in their school but unfortunately this was not possible this time round. The schools management promised to have meetings with parents to discuss how they can actualize this and improve the situation we will work with them once they start the process. We are happy that our students are still interested in agribusiness and they are ready to learn and gain more skills and knowledge. We appreciate the support given, thank you very much.
The year 2019 started very well but as it grows older, it surprised many Kenyans due to strange climatic condition. It has been extremely dry in most parts of the country including Molo in Nakuru County where a lot of farm products comes from. Usually there are long rains beginning March to May with short rains in January and February but this year it has been totally different. There were no rains since January until 20th April when rains started in some parts of the country and in Molo the rains started on 23rd April and we remain optimistic that the rain will continue. As a routine farmers prepared their farms early and some of them even planted as they normally do but unfortunately they lost everything they planted as there were no rains at all although some seeds germinated, they didn’t survive. Our young youths in polytechnic also experienced the loss of seeds as most of them planted in mid-March as they had high hopes the rain would fall before breaking for April holidays.
They will be reporting back to school next week after April holiday where they will start planting again. Since some of them lost all the seeds and planting materials they had saved previously they are now requesting for the support of more seeds to be planted during this rainy season. They visited our office last week to inform us of the situation and requesting for the support of seeds and planting materials. We have promised to support them with maize, peas and beans seeds as well as vegetables and other planting materials like sweet potatoes vines, spring onions and fruit tree seedlings. During the distribution of the seeds and planting materials we will discuss the issues of water harvesting techniques to take advantage of the rains which we hope will continue. Some of the simple water harvesting techniques that we hope to discuss with the schools management are roof water harvesting and ground water harvesting in water pans. This is not the first time to discuss this issue but we hope to actualize the ideas together. These schools are in need of support to enable them realize their dreams with their young students for food security and self-employment as a result of successful agribusiness activities. It is very encouraging to see the good efforts put in place by the youths who are now appreciating agriculture and eager to learn more skills and knowledge. We are proud of those who have succeeded even after finishing their courses where they have ventured into agribusiness activities and they are depending on themselves for income generation activities. This has been made possible through well-wishers, donors and friends kind contribution and we take this opportunity on behalf of all the beneficiaries to express our gratitude to all. Thank you very much and be blessed as we request for more support to our youths in polytechnics.
This is a new year and the club members are eager to reestablish their gardens after the long December holidays which saw then close schools for Christmas. Even though they were off, they were not derailed from taking care of their gardens. They occasionally set duties among themselves to make sure their enterprise is well taken care off. This arrangement worked quite well and as soon as they resumed session in January, they embarked on preparing the gardens in readiness for planting. They have already tilled the land and are waiting for the rains before they can embark on planting.
The last planting season was a success and they managed to harvest a considerable amount and in the process they were able to save some seeds in their seed bank which they will used this planting season. This will however be not enough and we plan to support them with more seeds in order to increase the area to be planted.
Being a new year, the clubs have also recruited new members who recently joined the polytechnics. This is a positive thing as the number of youths introduced to the agribusiness venture is at the rise. The clubs are providing a good avenue for inculcating more youths into this forgotten “gold mine” that has been despised by many young people as they struggle looking for white collar jobs.
Diversification is key to improved production and as an organization we plan to hold training sessions with the students and share with them what we believe can help them in increasing the yields they get. We plan to reach out to all student who are active in the club with the aim of motivating them further to embrace agriculture for improved livelihood and food security. In line with this, training on value addition of their products is ongoing so as to make sure the students get maximum benefits from what they grow.
On behalf of the beneficiaries we would like to thank all those who have walked together with us in this journey as we also invite other well-wishers to join us.
The schools polytechnics have had a good but busy 3rd term. The term was very short and the agribusiness club members had to work extra hard to balance their course work and the project activities. They did not have much to do on the gardens as most of them have harvested their crops before breaking for August holiday while others harvested between August and September. They were all excited to have their own products from their school gardens project which motivated them a lot and most of them have established kitchen gardens in their homes. They are also training others on how to establish kitchen gardens as well as school gardens in secondary and primary schools. We appreciate their efforts and we keep encouraging them and supporting them where possible. There were plans to conduct trainings on value addition and marketing as earlier reported, but due to tight schools’ program and short term, we did not manage but we hope to do so in next term when we will also be integrating new club members. Most of them will be closing school next week for their long December holiday. As usual they have shared duties and responsibilities for their projects during the long December holiday. We take this opportunity for the support given to our youths and we are happy when we see them progressing and making efforts to achieve their goals.
Our Youth Polytechnics are now preparing to close school after a long successful 2nd term and they will break for August holiday. We are happy to report that the term has been great and we thank God for everything. We have had plenty rainfall and the school gardens have been a good source of fresh organic vegetables for all the schools and students have been enjoying them in their school lunch program. Some youth polytechnics have been selling the surplus and the demand has been very high. Molo Youth Polytechnic agribusiness club members were able to finance themselves to participate in Nakuru Agricultural show where they were able to learn more on farming and marketing skill. They used the money they earned after selling their farm products and this has really motivated them as they realized they can do greater things on their own. We were able to conduct training on value addition and marketing in 3 youth polytechnics and we hope to do the rest next term if the schools’ program will allow. As they break for August holiday this week, as usual they have made a duty rooster that they will follow to ensure a group of club members is in school to take care of the garden and in some schools make sales of the vegetables they have in their gardens. Some of them have harvested some crops there is not much to be done.
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