The Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Project (KCSAP) in partnership with Kajiado County government has provided farmers in Oleikaitoriori, Ildala Lekutuk ward with seedlings, different farm machines, Sahiwal cattle and Dorper sheep to enable them embrace modern farming practices.
Among the farm machines provided are improved manual hay bailers, forage choppers, motorized back pack weeders and brush cutters.
The farmers who are allied to 11 self-help groups also received 49 pure Sahiwal cattle and 67 dorper ewes and 11 rams for breeding.
In order to mitigate drought effects, KCSAP also provided farmers with drought tolerant yellow beans and cowpeas seedling and fertilizers for top dressing and planting together with pesticides.
Speaking during the handing over event of the farm inputs, Kajiado Deputy Governor Martin Moshisho urged the community to utilize them well to get maximum yields.
Moshisho urged the groups to adopt alternative sources of livelihood and to uphold unity as the government was keen on working with groups rather than individuals for wider impact.
Kajiado’s Chief Executive Officer for Agriculture Jackline Koin said they had trained the farmers on how to use the farm machines and how to take care of the animals.
Koin revealed that more farmers will be vetted and trained on best agricultural practices so that they too can benefit from more agricultural projects planned for the region this financial year.
She urged the groups to own up the projects and to utilize the farm machinery and animals well to realize the desired results.
On his part, the chairman of Inkairukok Olmame group, one of the beneficiaries, Nicholas Saimi Swakei thanked KCSAP and the County Government for the support saying the 11 Sahiwal cattle they got will change their lives for the better.
“We usually engage in traditional method of livestock farming that our forefathers practiced but it does not give us profits. Now that we have received training and better breeds, we are guaranteed of improved income,” Said Saimi whose group consists of 25 members of both genders.
His sentiments were echoed by Nadupoi Inkiwanchani women group chairlady Mary Tompoi whose group benefited from motorized backpack weeders and tomato seedlings.
Mary said the machines will help the group to save time and energy and also in increasing their earnings. She added they mostly engage in table banking but now that they are empowered with skills and equipment, they will venture into tomato farming for more earnings.
The total cost of the project that is being implemented in six wards within Kajiado County is Sh45 million.
By Diana Meneto