Warm greetings from Drylands Natural Resources Centre family. We trust that you and yours are safe and well during this Covid-19 pandemic. We don’t have Covid-19 case in our community yet but within the country the cases continue to rise. Due to this pandemic, 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 through upscale kitchen gardens and food forests for increased food and nutrition security. This has come in handy in that most of the families we serve their family members have been laid off and with some market days banned, social gathering banned and curfew, livelihoods and food security have been seriously affected. Thanks you for your kind support of this project.
During this quarter, we continued to propagate vegetable seedlings to plant at DNRC gardens as well as supply to the farmers to plant in their organic kitchen gardens. Some of the fruit trees propagated and in our food forest range from fodder paw paws, bananas, guavas, passion fruits, tamarind, citrus food among others. The goal is to have both DNRC and the farmers we serve have enough vegetables and fruits from their food forest to increase their nutrition and food security which is key to coping with the pandemic. Major activities done during the reporting quarter included: replanting the food forest, weeding and managing the food forest, harvesting the food crops from the food forest as well as harvesting of fruits. Establishing vegetable nurseries, transplanting the sampling to kitchen gardens as well as managing the kitchen gardens. Also issuing the veg. and tree seedlings to the farmers to plant in their individual farms was carried out during the quarter.
Below are detailed activities during the reporting quarter:
DNRC FOOD FOREST
During the reporting quarter, we harvested 18.80 kgs of beans, 22.4 kgs of bananas, 26.2 kgs of sweet potatoes, 44 pcs of passion fruits, 21pcs guavas and 30kgs of pawpaw which were used to feed DNRC staff and visitors. Other activities involved in weeding, gapping and maintaining the food forest.
During the reporting quarter, DNRC staff were involved in establishing vegetable nurseries, transplanting the veg. saplings into DNRC kitchen gardens, weeding, spraying organic concoctions and top dressing of the crops. .They were also involved in vegetable harvesting of vegetables as well as selling the extra for income. During the reporting quarter, DNRC intensified establishment of organic kitchen gardens by individual farmers as a quick way of coping with Corona pandemic. DNRC outreach personnel individually trained farmers on how to prepare sunken beds (dryland technique) and issued them with vegetable saplings to plant in the sunken beds. Some farmers are already harvesting some vegetables.
- Covid-19 has posed a big challenge to our group trainings and have resulted to individual farmer trainings something which has slowed our activities.
- Water still remain our main challenge as we don’t have permanent source and rely on nearby seasonal rivers.
FOCUS FOR NEXT QUARTER
- Manage DNRC food forest as well as continue harvesting fruits and sweet potatoes
- Manage and expand DNRC kitchen gardens
- Continue with individual farmers trainings and follows ups on the household gardens