‘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.