Monday, July 22, 2013

To all our esteemed clients and friends of the organization, ALIN is once again privileged to introduce you to the one and only online marketing platform designed and blended with all you've always seeked for. Sokopepe is an initiative of Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN)aimed at harnessing the power of Information and Communication Technologies in enabling farmers to efficiently reach and exploit a fair market for their produce. At the same time, it increases efficiency in the agriculture value chain providing a platform for farmers to share information and execute electronic transactions. it was initially piloted at Ng'arua Maarifa Centre at Sipili town in Laikipia County.
Most transactions on the Sokopepe platform can be completed on a basic mobile telephone handset, making it accessible to farmers in remote locations, many of whom do not own internet-liked mobile phones. Farmers and Agro-pastrolists are encouraged to register with Sokopepe today and sale online.
For details, visit or walk into any of our Maarifa Centres and get the required assistance at no fee.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Ndhiwa Maarifa Meets ALIN's Youngest Donor of the Year

On the 15 of July 2013, I realized of the value of a verse in the bible when Jesus said ‘let the children come to me’ when some of his disciples tried to block them. For three years now, Sonia Odhiambo has largely been a frequent user of our community library alongside some of her colleagues. The young lady has been very instrumental and amazing to most of the staff here since she has always mobilized a number of her friends to the library.

On this particular date, I was amazed at her superb decision to donate three novels (very good condition) after she and her friends realized that the novels in their possession were beyond their comprehension. She and her friends consulted with her parents to allow her donate the books to the library since she had a strong belief that they would actually benefit a number of colleagues; I guess I am the first beneficiary of the so interesting novels. Sonia stands to be ALIN’s youngest donor of the year and just before I forget, Sonia is ICT literate; she can type in word and save her work just like the mum. This is the spirit of corporate responsibility. 

Conservation Agriculture as Climatic Change Adaptation Strategy for Farmers

 On 12th July 2013 all roads led Kobama division at Catherine Anyango’s farm in Kasirime Kawanga sub-location near Apuoche Primary School. It was a magnificent farmers’ field day organized by the Ministry of Agriculture – Ndhiwa in collaboration with Adaptation to Climate insurance (ACCI) and Ndhiwa Maarifa Centre (ALIN).
The day’s theme was on ‘Conservation agriculture technology as an adaptation to climate change for enhanced productivity’. The organizers chose on this theme after the global realization of the changing rainfall patterns due to climate change yet 90% of the communities residing in this region are smallholder farmers who largely depend on rain fed agriculture.
On the demo site, Osako Women Group, the hosts, had two hybrid maize species and hybrid cassava that had done fairly well as compared to most farms due to shortage of rains in the region but where does the hint lye? The group had intercropped the maize with ‘Mikuna’ a cover crop that takes 6-8 months to mature but can last up to more than a year on site. The plant covers the entire land hence reduce soil moisture loss, suppresses weeds and the dropped leaves add humus to the soil; not forgetting that it is also a nitrogen fixing plant.

Come the second and third season, the farmer doesn't have to plough the land once again, s/he only make drills between the cover crop and sows but one has also to control Mikuna from choking the maize since it has it’s a climbing plant but has to be maintained to crawl on the farm ‘floor’. Not
e that Mikuna seeds can only be consumed after being processed. Otherwise the experts and guests who were present at the event were pleased by the rate of knowledge & technology uptake of the community encouraging them to come out and fight against food insecurity that has now become a threat in most regions. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

3rd ICT Graduation Ceremony Proves Splendid once Again in Ndhiwa

On the 10th July 2013, Ndhiwa Maarifa Centre was able to see through 148 ICT graduants graduate in a highly commissioned occasion by her grace, Deputy County Commissioner, Mrs. Mercy Wamalwa. Other guests present at the occasion were member from Team Kenya, District Youth Office, CARD organization, Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, Ndhiwa Judiciary team, Ndhiwa Integrated Community Based Organization and the Maarifa Advisory Committee.
We officially began the event at 11:00 am with members present sharing very impressive and encouraging words to the congregation that had over 200 members.  It came out very clearly from the members that the ICT knowledge in our today’s economy had come to a point when employers assume that every resourceful personnel in the job market has to have the ‘skills’. Stressing on the same, the Deputy County Commissioner (guest of honour) encouraged the graduants not to stop from seeking other professional skills too since ICT only marked the frame of our life pursuit and there is great need for the graduants to flesh it further with other courses of relevance; so that the skills acquired at the Centre doesn’t fade from us.
The Deputy County Commissioner didn’t hesitate on thanking ALIN too for how fur they had brought these communities now that it had hit a 3000 mark since it began the basic training back in the year 2007. She encouraged all the development partners who had supported the good course to continue with the same spirit citing that they too had played a great role worth recognition. Finally the Guest of Honour presented the certificates, with the help of the other guests, to the 78 present ICT trainees. The event ended with jubilation at 2:00 pm with group photo sessions and rebounding.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Kodumba Gears Up for Food Security in HomaBay County

Marking a farmers’ field day deep down in the rurals of Kodumba village, near Ruma National park, was a stride appreciated by most farmers in the locality of the hailing ‘field school’ event. With a keen listen to the voices of the people, one would surely agree to it that it had come to the attention of the farmers in deep rurals that a great number of relevant information and activities had surpassed them in favour of those residing in the urban due to a notion that had been developed by most developers and organizers of such caliber.
On the 2nd July 2013, Ndhiwa Ministry of Agriculture, ALIN, APHIA II Plus, LACRAF, Animal Draft among many other stakeholders hit the dusty and bumpy road to deliver tested modern practical and achievable knowledge to the communities of Upper Kayambo sub-location, Ndhiwa Division.  The idea of helping villagers to develop a community forest or having 10% of their land covered by trees is a good way of reducing emissions through Agroforestry and now that the effects of climate change are here with us, we must work towards it’s adaptation with a surging strong force geared towards its further mitigation, that was a message from Mr. William Kera, Crops Officer, Ndhiwa Division. The message was clear as it received major back up from all the stakeholders who took on the platform.
The demo site had a lot to learn from ranging from the production of the orphaned crops, horticulture, use of fertilizer and certified seeds, soil conservation, market platforms and how to make compost manure. That alone not being enough, the DAO, Mr. Buge, was also quick to appreciate the added facts that were available on the exhibition stands citing that time had come for serious producers to change from indigenous to modern modes of production. The image was clear to the eyes of many that we have a number of ready market platforms with ready buyers who are waiting for standard farm products to buy instantly but production here was still very low.  Otherwise we term the day to be of success sincefarmers were able to interact with various specialists who readily responded to their inquiries.