As the world prepares to mark this year’s World Food Day, residents of Trans Nzoia County have been urged to embrace agroforestry to enhance food security, income, as well as conserve their environment.
VI Agroforestry Country Manager Mrs Elizabeth Mwiyeria, made the appeal during the official launch of an exhibition dubbed ‘Open Learning Week’ at the organization’s farm in Kitale.
Trans Nzoia Deputy Governor, Dr Stanley Tarus, was the chief guest at the event whose theme was “Our Actions Are Our Future Better Production, Better Nutrition, Better Environment and a Better Life.”
Speaking to the press on sidelines of the event, Mwiyeria emphasized the organization’s objective to collaborate with farmers, advising and training them on sustainable agricultural land management, especially agroforestry.
“In agroforestry, trees are planted alongside crops and livestock on the farmland. This improves soil fertility, better yields, and a richer variety of crops,” noted Mwiyeria, adding farmers who have shifted to agroforestry were getting more food and better incomes.
With the region currently experiencing heavy rainfalls, Mwiyeria reiterated the need for the local farmers to plant trees alongside crops, saying the trees also help increase biodiversity, bind carbon, and stop soil from being washed away by floods.
“As an organization, we offer outstanding expertise in agroforestry, climate change adaptation and mitigation, promoting well-proven practices based on scientific research,” added Mwiyeria.
She at the same time urged small scale farmers in the county to visit the Kitale VI Agroforestry farm to tap important knowledge on management of their agricultural land, besides producing nutritious food crops.
Dr Monica Nderitu, VI Agroforestry Regional Advisor on Environment and Climate Change, added that the organization, through Sustainable Agricultural Land Management (SALM) programme, was working closely with small scale farmers towards zero hunger attainment in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania.
“Through support from likeminded stakeholders and our education, the farmers have the opportunity to end poverty, put food on the table and send their children to school. At the same time, they contribute to a better environment,” said Nderitu.
She urged farmers in the county to adopt the SALM programme, which she emphasized, aimed at helping boost soil fertility and productivity, thus increasing farm yields.
“Since 1983, we have contributed to the planting of over 141 million trees in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania, countries that have been severely affected by deforestation and climate change,” disclosed the official.
VI Agroforestry is a Swedish development organization fighting poverty and climate change in countries where it carries its operations.
By Maurice Aluda