In Kenya, Agriculture plays a pivotal role in the lives of most farmers, especially within the rural settlements with approximately 70% of women in the sector relying on it. In its effort to support and sustain livelihoods, Fadhili Trust has continuously supported farmers by not only training them so that they can understand the benefits of growing more food and earning from their crops by transitioning from conventional farming methods to conservation agriculture but also linking them to markets for optimal profits.
“Conservation agriculture is a method of farming that emphasises minimal tillage, maximum soil cover and crop rotation. Fadhili Trust has introduced ways of land preparation, weeding, planting, harvesting and post-harvest food handling that are beneficial to farmers in the Makindu & Nguumo Wards of Makueni County.”
Fadhili Trust’s greater joy is farmers positively impacting each other
We work with farmer groups and individual farmers in Makindu and Ngumo wards by enlightening them on conservation agriculture that is mainly underpinned on three main principles:
- 1. Minimal soil disturbance; ensuring their soils are well protected
- 2. Permanent soil cover; using dry mulch
- 3. Crop diversification and rotation; coming up with ways through which we can improve soil fertility
Adaptation of new methods of farming can be slow especially because many farmers are used to conventional farming methods which have been practised for ages. However, once they see the difference in yields between conservation agriculture and conventional farming, they not only become convinced but also become proponents of Conservation Agriculture to other farmers. Fadhili will work with agricultural stakeholders to ensure that the expected standard practices are upheld throughout the area. During the last 3 years Fadhili has witnessed an increase in yields from season to season and more farmers transitioning from Conventional farming to Conservation Agriculture. Farmers are also making use of their membership in VSL groups to access loans to buy seedlings and farming tools. The number of spontaneous farmers is growing bey
Mr Johnstone Ndunda, a Field Extension Officer at Fadhili Trust believes that the organisation can do more to impact more farmers. “At the moment, we are covering two wards and we are only two field staff members to reach more farmers in the region and beyond, we need to do more. However, I can confidently say that we have achieved a lot. Looking at the number of farmers that are part of our village saving loan groups and practising conservation farming, it is evident that our food security project has been a big success.”
Fadhili Trust is appealing to more partners in order to multiply to the whole of Kibwezi West and beyond. We look forward to working with suppliers and research organisations in identifying seed varieties and new technologies that farmers can use and implement respectively for greater progress!