Monday, April 22, 2013

Ndhiwa Residents Does it Again in a Colorful Graduation Ceremony

It was joy and jubilation at Ndhiwa Maarifa Centre grounds during the historical moment in the lives of the 160 ICT trainees who had accomplished their course in the past 2 months. Despite the long awaited moment, the former trainees finally received their certificates in a colorful graduation ceremony organized by both the former trainees and ALIN.
The days programme commenced at 8.30 am with former trainees, guest and the immediate trainees streaming into the centre from dissimilar directions. During the preparations , the planning committee had honorary invited the Area Chief, HIPS college representative, YOLIFA Institute representative, Institute for Rural Development Kenya - Executive Director, D.S.D.O Ndhiwa district, District Education Officer- Ndhiwa, District Youth Officer-Ndhiwa, Area ward representative, Area member of parliament and the District Commissioner as the Guest of honour.
As time clicked, powerful speeches of wisdom and guidance filled the tents from the present teams ranging from the beneficiaries testimonials, the attending guests and finally to the guest of honor’s word of the day. The able Area chief, Mr. Were, was quick to acknowledge the efforts the Maarifa Centre had and still is putting in to ensure that the people of this community and even its beyond get the best service and modern expertise knowledge. The chief was a former ICT trainee at the centre.
The guest of honour, the Executive Director of IRD-K, Mr. Robert Osano, former trainee, who stepped in for the District Commissioner after a tight schedule that denied him chance to attend, was quick to mention on the new government’s pledge of issuing laptops to primary school children in the first one year of its service to the Kenyan people. He stressed to the facts the graduating team were going to play a major role in this program for it to be a success in this region basing on the fact that this centre had supported over  2000 ICT beneficiaries since the year 2007.
The Director was also fast to appreciate the vision that ALIN has had for this great Nation from his past even at a time when no one ever imagined these skills would develop into such a necessity. The challenge for a power back up and equipment security largely dominated the event before a fruitful resolution was reached. It was resolved in a joint discussion that in the next graduation, it be blended with an harambee (fund raising) towards purchase of a reasonable solar back up; after realizing that the unending challenge prolonged the training period than expected leading to so many unaccomplished missions by the visiting clients. Finally the graduates were able to be issued with their certificates before a heavy downpour that hence followed.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Information Exchange Forum for Ndhiwa Farmers Meets its' Target Dream in Nyarongi Division

On the 5th of April 2013 Ndhiwa district held a field day in Nyarongi division at Chief Alfred Ochuodho's farm with the guest of honour being Madam Tabitha Ajuang, HomaBay County Director of Agriculture.
The event attracted over 19 service providers working with farmers in the region with the invited teams being Arid Lands Information Networks (ALIN), Action Aid, CFSA Ndhiwa, Plan International Homabay, Animal Draft Power Homabay, Agriculture and Environmental Program (COD Homabay), Agriculture Finance Cooperation (Oyugis), Cooperative Bank Ndhiwa, Equity Bank HomaBay, The African Seed Company, Syngenta East Africa LTD,  Kenya Seed Co., Western Seed Co., KIRDI Homabay, ATDC Homabay, HCDA Homabay, Mace Foods LTD, CGA Ndhiwa and Kenya Sugar Research Foundation.
The event was initially arranged for by the Kenya Research Foundation, Opapo Branch in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and ALIN amongst other stakeholders as planners.
The theme of the field day was "Improved varieties, best management practices for enhanced yields". The main objective of the Day was for stakeholders to show case the various products and services they offer to the community with a major target of making them self reliance in food and food security.
As ALIN/PA we were able to support ten members from 10 groups from different locations to attend the field school of which was also a platform for them to interact with other service providers and successful farmers who were present at the event. With over 10 stands of exhibitions and demonstration plots, there was a lot information exchange for both the attending farmers and the stakeholders.
Finally the entire team settled in the provided tents for speeches and inquiries. The event being a success it was, it ended at 4.00 pm.  

Monday, April 8, 2013

Taking a Deeper Lesson on Modern Banana Production Techniques

With the current efforts placed in by the government and other stakeholders in the envision of combating food insecurity in this country, Banana is one of the Africa's staple foods. The crop has further proved to be adaptive too to the effects of climate change that has been a major contributor to the global food insecurity . 
This having been one of the information gaps that ALIN and Practical Action have received from the farmers in various regions, Ndhiwa Maarifa centre was quick to call in a crops specialist from Kobama Ministry of Agriculture to literally begin the training with farmers from Ajwang Women group on the recommended production techniques that will enhance their household income and give them a good market value for their products.
You will realize that Bananas are a perennial tropical plants whose fruits are used both for cooking and as table fruits. Sometimes they can also be planted to act as windbreakers to a vegetable garden.
So far the main areas of production in Kenya are Coast, Western, Nyanza, Eastern and Central provinces; of which we fall under the Nyanza belt.
The trainer was broad enough to take the 19 farmers the climatic requirements of the crop, required soils, banana varieties, planting, propagation, spacing, weeding, thinning, disease and pest control among others.
A demo hole of 1 metre by  1 metre was set up by the group; and in the work plan, the team agreed to set up 30 more holes and fill them with well decomposed manure, an activity that is still underway. 
It came to our realization that most of our farmers at one time or the other had practiced banana farming and had an idea of its production but the major challenge was on the recommended specifications: pre and post treatment. ALIN/PA together with Ministry of Agriculture Kobama remained committed to work jointly with the pioneer group to ensure that they receives 30 certified suckers for their demo farm.