|Farmer Training and Demonstration
Several months ago, Mary Muhara, Africa Rising's East Africa Liason, was the grateful recipient of six training manuals on growing maize. This gift was provided by a friend who works for a large International aid organization that currently has a maize education project in Kenya. The manuals include hundreds and hundreds of pages on every aspect of growing, weeding, fertilizing, and selling maize.
As valuable as this top of the line information is, Mary needed to find a way to translate information in the training manuals into practical knowledge for our partner organization working in Kilisa Village in Eastern Kenya. And she needed do this with a budget of $0.
The solution was to organize a one day training for farmers hosted by the Kilisa Village Development Committee on their demonstration plot. The training was attended by 29 farmers representing village development committees from many villages in the area. Each farmer paid about $1.30 for training. The training was provided by an expert agronomist with an infectious passion for soil and maize who Mary was connected to by the friend who gave her the training manuals.
29 farmers on KVDC demonstration plot at the training day (View more photos)
The farmers received extremely practical information and demonstrations on increasing maize output and profits which they plan to implement with their next planting season in February. The attendees were also introduced to a very low cost poultry farming method to hatch 60 chicks in 6 weeks. They also learned about the best kitchen garden schematic for growing produce for their entire family on a 5 by 5 meter plot of land with water saving techniques (important because of dry seasons and frequent droughts in the area).
The farmers found the training
extremely valuable and requested another training in February to which they
would again pay to attend and recruit double the number of participants. View photos of the training.