Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Collective Marketing Sinks another Root in Kipingi PMG

Today being the 29th of January 2013, we were glad to join Kipingi Processing and Marketing group, in Kipingi area for a group meeting. Kipingi PMG is a cluster of 14 common interest groups with a great focus on grain collective banking and marketing. The group has a number of other activities like farming, processing and micro-finance.
On this day we had a different message to pass on to the members, for decades, access to poultry vaccine in this area was the greatest challenge to the local poultry farmers since one could only access it Homa-Bay town incase he/she needed it. The costing was not any friendly to the farmers in that one had to spend KES 300 to Homa-Bay to purchase a vaccine for 100 chicks at KES 100 but today, things have greatly changed and farmers can access the vaccine every Thursday at Ndhiwa veterinary offices.
We were also quick to mention on the collective marketing of poultry, something that the group had already done on cereals and knew its relevance. An example was even quoted by a member of when they onetime visited Homa-Bay FTC and since the centre purchases and consumes more than 100 hens per day, they were asked if they could afford to supply the same number to the institute but no one could in the entire set. This was an eye opener to the members and group asked to be trained on the same come 12th February 2013.
We sold a lot of ideas also on ICT training, Practical Action site, blogs creation, development videos, Baobab, activities documentation, technical inquiries and other online marketing portals plus more. The days agenda ended at 5.45 pm.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Farm School at Randhore, Kobama Division

On the 23rd January 2013, we were able to join Randhore Adults group in East Kwabwai location where its 22 members (10 F & 12 M) had organized a farmers field day after their short rains demo farm set ups.The enriching event attracted over 40 community members despite it being in the most interiors parts of Kobama division. 
From the field experience, facts have so far proved it that it's not the larger the crowd - the higher the knowledge uptake, but the fewer the implementers the greater the uptake. Why? Farmers have developed a tendency of learning from each other and that is the reason why its important for we as the educators to sink this technologies through the communities lead farmers.
In Randhore the same idea was put to test and we had a variety of crops set up for learning, we had 2 cassava varieties, 2 Maize varieties (DK 8031 & Jowi), Gaddam sorghum, Finger Millet P224, Cow peas M16, Groundnuts, Potato, nappier grass among others.  

A number of inquiries were also placed in by the farmers on wanting to know about markets for their beans, water harvesting skills, Banana disease control, soil fertility sampling and climate change adaptation techniques; of which a good number of them were answered by experts from Kobama Ministry of Agriculture and ALIN. 
Otherwise a good number of nice ideas were pumped into the ears of the community members and even the us the educators on this day with most of the questions answered at the spot to their satisfaction.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Impact of Farmers Field Day 6 Months Later

Its amazing how a farmer, Mr. John Nyabuto, who hosted our field day in the month of August 2012, saw a need of crossbreeding his local goat breed  with a high-breed that had been brought at his home compound during the organized farmers and experts exhibition day. 
The day created a platform for various stakeholders then; to advise the farmers and also exhibit the potentials in the so called new/innovative technologies.

During an impact follow up on the crops and technology uptake by the farmers who were present during the event, we were quick to notice the efforts Mr. Nyabuto had put in place on the crops and to his livestock too as he showed us his new projects with pride.  Previously, the farmer had only the indigenous goats for meat even though with good health but he had also been interested so much on the hybrid species of  goat after learning its potential from the experts who were present at his home on that day. Locally with the he goat's owner, Mr. Nyabuto arranged for a crossbreeding exercise. That is when he got the two good looking kids in the photo up there. Initially none of us had a clear idea if this local goat could maintain the kids expected standards but what we were sure of was that the offspring would have been superior than the locals he had. 
Today, a number of his neighbors have a new thinking and everyone is setting a target of having at least an improved breed by the end of this year after seeing this. Watch out for video in February 2013.