BY FLORA AWINJA
Thirty farmers groups in Lunga Lunga, Kwale County have been trained in modern farming through kitchen gardens.
The training comes as the world continues to grapple with climate change that has crippled rain-fed agriculture.
The training is being implemented by the KidsCare organization in collaboration with departments of agriculture in both the county and national government.
565 farmers are targeted in the program that is meant to mitigate the effects of climate change and boost the area’s food security.
More than 500 sacks and various vegetable seeds were distributed to the farmers.
The farming technique requires little water to grow crops for domestic consumption and commercial use.
The initial beneficiaries of the training are expected to share the skills with the rest of the residents in their villages.
Mwanyoha Mzungu, a beneficiary from Duguni village, said the project will enable them to continue keeping their children in school who drop out due to lack of food and school fees.
“I have loved the whole project and we want to go on with it because we have kids in school and it will benefit them too,” he said.
Mwanapili Chifoi said the project will help women boost their children’s diet and provide them with little cash to take care of their needs at home and school.
“Drought has caused a lot of challenges to our school-going children. Sometimes they do not attend school but as we embrace this project, we hope it will cure the drought crisis and save women and children from the problems we encounter due to prolonged dry weather” said Chizi Kilango from Pangani village.
The project is expected to cost 1.4 million from buying and transportation of the seeds, mobilization and facilitation of the farmers in the 30 groups.
Speaking while flagging off the materials for the kitchen gardens at Kids Care centre in Mshiu, Kids Care deputy director George Baya said that the project was initiated after assessing the need to shield residents from the rising cost of living and change of weather patterns.
“We have been on ground level and being a champion organization for kids’ welfare, we saw the need to take a different approach from being dependent on rain, so that the farmers can grow their food as we wait for the rains,” he said.
George Baya said that they are distributing seeds for kales commonly known as sukuma wiki, spinach, and managu among others.
He said the farming technique does not consume most of the farmers and they can engage in other activities as the crops grow in the kitchen gardens.
“I urge the beneficiaries to embrace it to support food productivity as they await the rains because it’s not time-consuming since no weeding is required at all and they can engage elsewhere as their vegetables still grow,” he said.
Lunga Lunga sub-county deputy commissioner Joseph Sawe said the project will be extended to other farmers’ groups in a bid to make the area food sufficient.