Turkana county chief executive for agriculture Philip Aemun has said that the changing climatic conditions had necessitated diversification in farming techniques, with huge potential lying on investing on dry-land farming.
Speaking at Nakwamoru in Turkana South when he officially presided over the award of certificates to pastoral field school trainees, Aemun urged the graduates to be ambassadors by offering the much needed extension services to pastoralist and farmers in their respective wards.
Fifty Community Based Mobilizers (CBF) were issued with certificates after successful completion of a three-week training course on Farmers/Pastoralist Field Schools (PFS/FFS).
The second group of 50 people comprising of County Government Officers and selected farmers/pastoralist individuals will begin a seven-day training for the same the course and will be awarded certificates later on.
“The main objective of the field schools is to introduce new technological innovation, while at the same time incorporating and strengthening the indigenous knowledge on agricultural/pastoralist extension services,” he said.
The training was jointly organized by the County departments of Agriculture and Livestock together with the National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NARIGP).
PFS/FFS are essentially schools without walls that introduce new technological innovations while building on indigenous knowledge.
While lauding NARIGP for taking lead in sponsoring field schools, Aemun assured participants present of plans by the County Government to draft a policy that will support operations of Pastoral and Farmers field schools that he said play an integral role on food and nutrition security at household level.
NARIGP County Project Coordinator Joseph Ekalale revealed that the project had deployed 3 consultants to provide technical backstopping and capacity building across the three value chains of Sorghum/cowpeas, sheep/goat and Apiculture.
In addition, Ekalale said that the trained CBF and support given to Technical officers through provision of motorbikes and the deployment of the CDDC Secretariat are part of the efforts by the project to provide services to beneficiaries
NARIGP Component 1 Lead, Dr. Elia Lolem also added that the CBFs and CDDC secretariat have a great role to play in raising the number of membership/beneficiaries of the supported Community Interest Groups (CIGs).
Others who spoke during the ceremony included Turkana Sub-County Administrator Alexander Losikiria and Kaputir Location Chief Charles Lopuya.
by Peter Gitonga