Tuesday, 11 November 2014

SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE IS THE WAY TO GO, SAYS CREPP.



By DICKSON ODHIAMBO.
  
      KISUMU.

   NOVEMBER 11, 2014.



A VISIT to his five acre farm at Border II Sub location of Awasi
Location in Kisumu County reveals a lot in terms of what he is doing
in Agriculture to feed his bigger family.

Jasper Juma Odundo, a 65 year old farmer who has a polygamous family
says he has been in the business of farming since 1983 when he quit
his place of work to concentrate fully on farming.

He says initially he used to do small farming on maize and millet only
for his family to get their daily bread from the produce but had never
thought that he would one day become a farmer who does commercial
farming.



CREPP CEO FRED WABWEYO DURING AN INTERVIEW WITH THE LAKESTAR
NEWSPAPER./PHOTO By DICKSON ODHIAMBO.
 
Juma says a friend of him advised him to start farming on pineapples
since their area is a dry one but has a good type of soil which can support the farming of the said crop.

Now, the farmer says he is not regretting the idea of starting farming which he adds has not only provide the family with adequate food but also has been a source of their livelihood.

He says an Organization known as Community Rehabilitation and
Environmental Protection Program {CREPP} has been providing greater
support for his farming activities.


Juma says since CREPP inception in 1994, he and other small scale
farmers within the Sub-location and beyond have learnt a lot on the
importance of sustainable agriculture.

He says through the Organization they have managed to start a local
community group known as Omwogo Development Group of 29 members which
has been spearheading the growth of Cassava, a crop which is good for
sustainable agriculture.

Juma says CREPP has been of greater help since it has been providing
the farmers with good knowledge on the growth of the crop as well as
providing them with good quality cassava seeds which have seen their
yields improve tremendously.

He says the growing of Cassava crop has been of greater benefits to
the group since they have managed to get enough to eat and sell the
surplus to those who are in need of the crop, adding that this he has
been doing and still continue to concentrate on the his farming of
Pineapple, Maize, Banana, sweet potatoes in his five acre farm.

‘’CREPP has been of greater benefit to us as local farmers as it has
managed to provide us with crops seeds such as cassava, sweet
potatoes, paw paw among others which we only pay later after harvest
and this now encouraged a number of locals to engage in farming,’’ he
says.

He adds that the goods seeds like that of cassava have made them not
to encounter the Cassava mosaic disease which has been a major problem
with cassava crop hence increase in yield from the growth of such
crop.

A group of three lecturers from Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of
Science and Technology {JOOUST}Siaya County  and Kabianga University
in Kericho County who toured the farmer’s home recently on a learning
mission were impressed by the progress made by the farmer on his bid
to improve food security and ensure his family is food secure.





JASPER JUMA, A FARMER IN AWASI WHO HAS BEEN GETTING
GOOD SEEDS FROM CREPP EXPLAINS A POINT TO THREE LECTURERS WHO WERE ON A LEARNING MISSION TO HIS FARM RECENTLY./PHOTO By DICKSON ODHIAMBO.
 

The three Dons Naomi Apali Mogoria and Dr Pamela Were both from JOOUST
and Dolphine Anyango from Kabianga University says there is need for
proper documentation on the best practices on the best methods used in
sustainable agriculture to the local farmers.

CREPP Chief Executive Officer and Founder Fred Tabu  Wabweyo says the
Organization has been using model farmers in a program known as
farmer-to- farmer approach which has help in networking and bringing
local farmers together in educating one another on sustainable
agriculture.

Wabweyo says CREPP has also come up with an initiative of having
farmers’ field schools where farmers have been divided into groups and
they teach themselves on a particular topic on agriculture especially
on sustainable agriculture.

He says there is need to have strong farmers movement in the country
with an aim of spearheading the issues of farmers within the Country,
adding that Tanzania which is a neighbouring country has a stronger
farmers movement known as Muvi wata which advocates for farmers issues
in that Country.

The CREPP Chief Executive Officer says the Organization has also been
working with Primary schools where Agro-Ecology clubs have been formed
and a number of such schools have developed their gardens.

He says such initiative has seen a number of pupils replicate the idea
of having gardens at home where they have planted some useful crops
which helps in the promotion of natural foods as opposed to
Genetically Modified ones, adding that currently 20 schools within
Nyando Sub-county are in the program.

He further says alongside the promotion of food security, CREPP also
participates in environmental Conservation including the promotion of
use of renewable energy as well as micro-enterprise development and
mitigates the impact of HIV and AIDS while mainstreaming issues of
gender, disaster mitigation, peace-building and policy advocacy
issues.

The Organization has also developed a community Resource Centre in
Kisumu County near Awasi Market where its administrative offices are
located.

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