These stories come from farmers, community facilitators, government focal points, and partners who have been engaged in project activities in Kenya.
Mwingi Central Subcounty,
7 hectares although she
cultivates 3 hectares
WHAT DOES MUTONGOI GROW ON HER FARM?
Main crops grown on her farm include maize, beans, green grams, pigeon peas, cow peas, millet and sorghum for home consumption and sale at the local market.
Fruit trees available on her farm include pawpaw, mangoes, lemons and passion fruit. Mutongoi also keeps cattle, goats, chicken and has a apiary.
She grows vegetables such as kale, tomatoes, spinach and onions which she uses for home consumption and sale.
BECOMING A MODEL FARMER
Mutongoi joined the project because she wanted to learn how improve her agricultural production ensuring that her family was food secure. She was trained on soil and water conservation, planting basins and tree planting.
Mutongoi has learnt additional management practices for planting basins. This has been through her own experience and through interaction with other farmers.
- Learnt how to drain the basins and avoid water logging which damages the crops.
- Establishing the planting basins between terraces to maximize on the moisture retention.
- Use the trees she has planted e.g. neem for pest control.
Being part of the project has influenced Mutongoi to change how she plants and manages her tree seedlings.
- She now applies manure and mulch when planting, and prunes, shades and protects her seedlings by fencing them.
IMPACTS FROM PROJECT INTERVENTIONS AND LEARNING
Mutongoi is also integrating soil and water conservation measures on her farm in
addition to management practices such as;
• Crop rotation
• Pest control
• Cover crop
• Use of crop residues to control erosion
AND DIETARY DIVERSITY
Mutongoi now produces more varieties of food and vegetables for home consumption and sale. This has increased the household’s dietary diversity and reduced the number of hunger months.
Mutongoi sells kale and spinach
from her farm at the local market.
She saves the money from the sale
of vegetables and uses it to pay
schools fees for her children.
She also sells the cut grass and
seeds at the local market as well as
to her neighbours. Since she planted
the grass, she has harvested it
once and was able to sell this for
KSH 2000. Money from the sale of
grass was used to hire labour to dig
additional planting basins.
Restoration of degraded land for food security and poverty reduction in East Africa and the Sahel: taking successes in land restoration to scale
Leigh Winowiecki (ICRAF) L.A.Winowiecki@cgiar.org
Fergus Sinclair (ICRAF) F.Sinclair@cgiar.org