Thursday, May 30, 2013

Farmers reap from the networks

Cassava cuttings ready for distribution
 Creating networks with diverse development partners is vital for market access by small holder farmers. Farming Systems Kenya (FSK), a Nakuru based NGO, has bought cassava cuttings worth twenty five thousand shillings (25,000) from a group of farmers in Sipili. The planting material were later issued to other groups of farmers in the neighboring Olmoran division. It would have been hard for Olmoran farmers in need of the planting material to access the inputs just across the border.

The farmers had lost hope of ever earning a penny from the cuttings and they thought the will serve as firewood. ‘‘We had problems coordinating the project and marketing the root tubers’’ Said Rahab Githumbi on whose farm the group had established a demo-plot in 2010. ‘‘Cassava does very well in the area’’ said Mr. Kiarahu, a member of LACKIN, the group behind the crop project. Most of the members had given up when the tubers failed to secure a good market. ‘‘we shared portions for each member to harvest and sell, some used for family food while others made livestock feeds out of it’’ Rahab said.
The cassava cutting planted by the group were sourced from the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), for the project supported by the ministry of agriculture under the Njaa Marufuku Kenya (NMK) program implemented by the government three years ago.
The information about the availability of the planting material was delivered through the Ngarua Maarifa Centre, since it was in contacts with the buyer.
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