Growing Crops, producing Honey and investing in Livestock on our farm to achieve and support local sustainability and the foundations for a growing community
We have invested in some livestock at our farm at Ntirimiti and encouraged a sustainable breeding programme.
We also have 11 beehives that we have recently relocated and leased a small portion of land elsewhere. We expect to be harvesting about 100kg of honey every 6 months.
We have two big sheds that have 7 cattle, 10 goats and 8 sheep. Even in this area we have faced significant challenges in providing feeding materials due to rain shortages and we have had to buy in more animal feeds than first anticipated.
The animals provide milk for sale locally and manure for the farm. We also support Women’s Groups with offspring to start micro-business.
Our Water Project
During the last four seasons, we have experienced crop failure at Lewa and in most semi-arid areas in Kenya due to lack of sufficient rainfall. This has led to famine and increase in people suffering food poverty. We are however lucky that now we have a reservoir that can hold water to irrigate our farm.
We have built a water reservoir that is 9 meters by 12 meters and approximately 1 meter deep, so we are making sure that we can be able to collect all our runoff water into this reservoir. Then with this water, we can use it to irrigate the farm, for personal use and animals too.
We are using this water to grow vegetable, onions, bananas, grass, water melons, passion fruits and starting a moringa tree nursery. These vegetables and fruits are now feeding children in our newly founded school, and surplus shall be sold to provide money for other activities on the farm. The community members and mainly women who meet regularly on the block are learning a lot from the farm while others are working towards making their own water reservoirs.
To some extent our project has incorporated permaculture principles in our objectives and we already have swales that will hold the soil together. We emphasize on water conservation, the dangers of using chemicals and caring for the environment. We have also built three blocks in a bid to conserve water and prevent erosion from runoff water.
We use the same principles in growing; beans, corn, wheat, sweet potatoes, moringa oleifera and fruit trees. We hope to start a bio gas project, a nutrients-for-all project and introduce other appropriate technologies that are environment friendly.
The Water Reservoir and aims for the future
- Will be a reliable food source – fish pond.
- Shall ensure we have a reliable and safe water supply for use at the school and for irrigating the farm.
- Provide a means to restore soil fertility and increase resilience to drought and floods. It will capture all water that erodes the farm.
- Provide education in terms of sustainable living.
- Provide a monetary surplus to help pay for the required infrastructure and necessary investments in our other social enterprises i.e. school, cattle and milk, honey, rabbits, goats and sheep etc.
- Provide a safe, nurturing and inspiring environment, that shall help women to overcome past trauma.
We are still looking at various types of drip equipment that we intend to use on the farm to minimize water wastage during irrigation.
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