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More Crop for Each Drop

SNV farmer's field day

Farmers’ Field Day expose farmersto modern irrigation technology, profitable crops and maximizing water productivity on small parcels of lands.

‘Increasing water productivity’’ was the theme of the October’s Farmers’ Field Day held in Kiahuko Area, Naro Moru WRUA, Nyeri County.

The event organized by the Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP) in partnership with SNV. It attracted 230 farmers from 19 Water Resources Users Associations (WRUAs) from Nyeri, Meru and Laikipia Counties.

The farmers were trained on irrigation technologies, water harvesting and storage, water abstraction, access to finance, as well as market-based approach in agriculture. The ultimate goal being  to maximize farm production with minimum water use.

A small-scale farmer, Mr Ephraim Kahenya and his wife, hosted the field day at their model farm in Nyeri County.  The family is a pioneer in water harvesting technology and they are great examples of how to harvest water and use it efficiently.

“Irrespective of being a farmer in a semi-arid zone of Nyeri County, Smart Water for Agriculture has improved my productivity and has diverted my mind away from over-reliance on rivers.” Says Mr Kahenya, adding, “Such field days are fundamental in offering farmers advice on the most suitable crops to grow with market and water conservation in mind.”

Mr Kahenya inspired other farmers with the possibility of a small-scale farmer making over a million shillings for the sale of garlic planted on 1/16 acre piece of land. “That’s how you increase water productivity: Make every drop count,” he told the farmers.

The series of farmers’ field days organized by MKEWP create awareness and build the capacity of the farmers to enable them to harness and use water resources better.

MKEWP supports activities in line with County Integrated Development Plans (CIDP) for the three counties of Nyeri, Meru and Laikipia. These Plans prioritize the adoption of modern farming methods as opposed to just rain-fed agriculture.

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Smart Water for Agriculture Fund to benefit farmers in the Upper Ewaso Basin

SNV

MKEWP Water Resources Specialist James Mwangi talks to SACCO officials during the workshop in Laikipia.

Forty local SACCOs met to learn about Irrigation Acceleration Platform and how their members can access the newly launched Smart Water For Agriculture (SWA) Fund to invest in sustainable solutions in small-scale farming.

The activity, organized by Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP), had the Kenya Union of Savings & Credit Co-operatives Ltd (KUSSCO) talk to the local SACCOS. KUSSCO is a umbrella for cooperatives in Kenya.

KUSSCO are the custodians of the SWA fund provided by SNV. They trained the SACCOS on business linkages, access to finances for farming and service providers. SACCOs can now access the SWA Fund and obtain loans for their members who want to use drip kits for irrigation.

SNV

The workshop was organized by MKEWP through SNV’s Smart Water For Agriculture Program

As part of SNV’s goal to link farmers to sustainable water technologies, the SACCOs were also introduced to private service providers. Members can use the Fund to access money to buy irrigation kits from these providers.

MKEWP is the implementing partner for SNV’s Irrigation Accelerated Platform (IAP) in Laikipia County. They are a link between farmers and farming technologies that not only conserve water but also improve farm productivity.

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More Crop for a Drop of Water!

Farmers day,SNV

MKEWP: Farmers listen to an extension officer next to a water  pan during the Smart Water For Agriculture Field Day

“More Produce, Less Water” was the theme of September’s Farmers Field Day held in Nkando area, Laikipia County.

“Managing the scarce water resources: That’s what Smart Water For Agriculture is all about – farmers learning about how they can reap more crop for a drop of water.” SNVs Local Capacity Builder, Joyce Karimi, said.

The 5th edition of the Farmer’s Day was organized by the Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP) and brought together over 25 exhibitors and 250 farmers from 15 Water Resource User Associations (WRUAs) in the counties of Meru, Nyeri and Laikipia.

The event was hosted at a model farm owned by a small-scale farmer, Mr. Patrick Maina and his wife. They are water champions, who have really adopted best water practices.  Their farm provides experiential learning for farmers and is a success story in the Upper Ewaso basin.

Smart Water For Agriculture

Mr Maina engages with farmers on water conservation in small-scale farming

“If ¾ of us here today can adopt a roof harvesting system, we will take the pressure off our rivers. Users downstream will have something to drink,” says Mr. Maina, whose water pan collects over 2 million Cubic litres of rainwater.

Traversing through the farm, engaging with exhibitors, and talking with County Government extension officers, the farmers were trained on water harvesting and storage, drip irrigation technology, fish farming, poultry farming, dairy farming, conservation agriculture, and the application of green energy. .

The next Farmers Field day will be held on the 9th October 2018 in Naro Moru, Nyeri County.

Want to join MKEWP in its activities? Want to be a part of the next Farmers Field Day? Please contact MKEWP Water Resources Specialist, James Mwangi.

Email:  James.Mwangi@laikipia.org

Tel:  +254 746 607 181