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Kitchen Garden Promotion and Education in Kenya: An Activity Report

Sep 03, 2010

The development of kitchen gardening among Kenyan communities is moving in a positive direction. Many people are becoming aware of the importance of kitchen gardening at grass root level and especially in Kigumo District where the Organic Agriculture Centre of Kenya (OACK) is currently operating.

Since March 2010 with the support of Kitchen Gardeners International, OACK has been able to reach and train 161 new gardeners. These gardeners are able to produce enough vegetables for their family consumption. Consequently, OACK and the community were able to organize and celebrate World Kitchen Garden Day which was attended by 105 farmers and  9 facilitators. During the event farmers exhibited their produce and gave their testimonies on how the gardening has impacted on their livelihood and food supply.

Activities:
To accomplish our objective of reaching 150 new gardeners in 2010, the following activities were undertaken by OACK's staff and farmers.

1. Awareness creation
Five awareness creations meeting by OACK staff were conducted to sensitize the community on the need for kitchen gardening.

2. Training

OACK was able to train 161 farmers instead of the projection number of 150 farmers. This included 120 women, 31 men and 10 youths.(4 boys and 6 girls)This shows that women are interested in kitchen gardening than men.

3 Follow-ups:
Out of the trained 161 new gardeners, 83 have been able to be followed up to verify their training compliance.

4 Monitoring and Evaluation:
OACK was able to monitor the work once and evaluated the activities at the end of the training.

Challenges:
    * Transport: Most of the gardeners working with OACK are scattered in different areas and individual home visit becomes a challenge.
    * Seed problem: Majority of the farmers do not have seed bank and need to be trained on seed saving for seed sustainability for future use.
    * OACK operate in a small hired off ice and would like to expand it in order to meet the farmers increasing needs and other OACK's operations.
    * Climate change. This result to unpredicted weather variation which affect the growth of the plants.

Lessons learnt:
    * Farmers trained are able to produce enough healthy food for their livelihood.
    * Farmers are able to give testimonies on how kitchen gardening have been helping them in providing fresh vegetables from their own gardens.
    * The farmers' confession is that, their health is improving after the consumption of health organic vegetables.
    * During our World kitchen Garden Day celebration, more new farmers were attracted by kitchen gardening activities.
    * With kitchen gardening activities, it is possible to achieve the millennium development goals of fighting extreme hunger, poverty and achieve sustainable environment especially in third World countries like Kenya.

Conclusion:
OACK would like to appreciate its partners and especially KGI for the support and good working relationship as we continue to spread the message of kitchen gardening. It is anticipated that OACK will continue in training more gardeners in future which require more support from like minded partners.

Submitted by: David Karanja, Organic Agriculture Centre of Kenya (OACK)

Comments

So we can visualize better, can you tell us where in Kenya is the Kigumo District?
I'll handle this once since I know the answer and know that David's acces to the internet is quite limited. The "A" marker below gives an approximate location for OACK's work.
And thank you for this more detailed map. Internet access or not-so-much is good info for international communication. A dear friend is now in Kauai as part of her odyssey of working with & studying organic farms around the world. There is little or no Internet access at this farm, although they have been featured on Grown in Hawaii TV online. Coffee shops in Kapaa do not let customers plug in their laptops! so her battery is low. Here in Idaho I gifted a naturalist/writer some solar-equipment for his camp - but he added his know-how & some old car batteries to his off-the-grid setup, which works perfectly. I wonder what kinds of Internet infrastructure & workarounds David can access? Of course, the work & progress David reports are the real foundation of it all in gardening & growing. And the work of Kitchen Gardeners International building upon & connecting hands-on foundation-work is important going foward.
Thanks David! Keep it up the good work of enlightening the world on healthy living. God bless you.

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