For John Ekan Kodet and about 300 other farmers in Napool Farming Scheme in Turkana County, 2018 was a difficult year. The area was severely hit by heavy rainfall that resulted in flooding leading to the destruction of canal embankments.
With the canals destroyed, water access to the farms became hard. The farmers had to walk more than a kilometer to the Turkwel River to get the much-needed resource. John’s words sum it up best “Shamba ilikua imekauka kabisa, mimea zilikua zinakauka na ata hazikukuwa zinamea vizuri kwa sababu mvua pia ilikua inachelewa kila wakati (the farm dried up, crops did not also grow well because of the unpredictable rain patterns.” Additionally, there were also cases of pests attacking the crops and a lack of farming tools.
In 2019, Africare visited the farm and had a couple of meetings with the farm beneficiaries. Some of the issues raised included water access, availability of farming tools, and access to quality certified seeds just but to mention a few. After the initial assessment, viable interventions were carried out.
One of the interventions that have had a huge impact on the scheme is canal desilting.
Africare in collaboration with the members of the scheme desilted the canals that led to water access to the entire farm. Additionally, to ensure high productivity, this was combined with the use of good agricultural practices such as correct spacing when planting, knowing the best times to water the crops, and the use of locally available materials to make biopesticides. The farmers were also trained on how to set up composite manure pits and nurseries.
To complement all these activities, farmers were also provided with certified seeds and sets of farming tools. All these were made possible through the technical assistance of the Turkana County Agriculture Department.
The above interventions combined with the commitment of the farmers have greatly improved access to diversified diets of Napool community as well as increased their household incomes.
Florida another beneficiary in the project proudly says how she can take her children to school, supplement her family income as well as leave enough for savings. She has more than 30 banana trees and sells a bunch for about 400 shillings. She has received banana and mango seedlings and a variety of highly nutritious vegetable seeds from Africare.
IMPACT Program introduced new highly nutritious vegetables in the scheme. These include Amaranthas, black nightshade, cowpeas, spider plant, watermelons, mirro, ocra, and butternuts.
IMPACT Program continues to support agriculture in Turkana County as a sustainable way of addressing malnutrition. The program continues to build stronger and more trusting relationships with communities and other stakeholders.
The IMPACT Program is supported by Bayer Fund.