Monday, July 14, 2014

Pomp and color as information sharing kibanda is Launched

By Samuel Nzioka

There was joy and celebrations at an open day held at Ng’arua Maarifa Centre, located at Sipili Sub-County office on July 12, 2014. The event which was graced by among others Laikipia County representatives, Mr. Godfrey Ndonye  and Mr. Njuguna who represented the guest of honor, the county Commissioner Mr. Wilfred Kinyua  also marked the official launch of the Sustainable Land and Natural Resources Management Centre dubbed ‘Mazingira Knowledge Centre’

Other partners present were, The international Small Group & Tree planting Program (TIST), East Africa Grain Council (EAGC), Community Forest association, Laikipia Produce and Marketing Cooperative Society (LP&MC), Laikipia Centre for Knowledge and Information (LACKIN), Pure Sacco, Laikipia central community Development (LAICCODO) and Juhudi Kilimo among others.

Participants visiting LAICCODO stand
The open day aimed to create an effective knowledge sharing platform to build communities’ capacity for effective stewardship of Sustainable Land Management (SLM) practices and enhanced resilience in Laikipia County. The event provided an opportunity for community members to share knowledge on various technologies and innovations on climate change mitigation and adaptation among other services and products which were on display during the event.


Information materials were also archived and pinned at the knowledge sharing Kibanda for communities to learn new technologies and ways of reducing environmental degradation.

Some of the innovations and technologies that were on display during the open day included; energy saving cooking stoves, castor oil cooking stove, Solar lanterns, soap and candles made locally from bee wax, information materials on use of biogas and other bio fuels, water harvesting technologies and forest conservation strategies.

Speaking during the event, Mr. Ndonye urged participants to be good ambassadors and share with fellow neighbors and other community members what they had learned from the event. He also noted that, he has learned a lot from the event especially the use of castor oil as biofuel for cooking and keeping away mosquitoes and flies from the houses.

Participants also learned of different climate change adaptation strategies from farmers who displayed their fresh fruits like Mangoes, pineapples, passion, Tree tomatoes and thorn melons while others had value added products like dried cassava, rosemary and vegetables.

Mr Kiarahu explaining value addition technologies to farmers
Mr. Francis Kiarahu, a farmer who has participated in several events both locally and internationally explained to farmers how it’s important to diversify their farming during this time when the weather changes are unpredictable. He explained how he doesn’t depend on maize and beans as many farmers do.

“I don’t depend on one crop during my farming. My farm has fruit trees, cassava, pineapples, tree tomato, oranges, indigenous vegetables, and the rest portion has maize and beans. During this dry season, my family is comfortable since there is a lot of cassava in my farm. I’m also earning from my fruit trees.” Said Mr. Kiarahu.

Farmers also got an opportunity to learn more about SOKO+ and Farm Record Management Information System (FARMIS), where queries on the same were addressed.  Those who had not subscribed for the services were also registered.  


Participants visiting FARMIS stand
SOKO+ is a digital commodity trading and information system linking small scale farmers to end retailers. It also provides commodity prices from major markets and e-extension services.  

FARMIS is a farm management and diagnostic tool based on the use of farm records. It was developed for use by diverse stakeholders in the agriculture sector aimed at identifying productivity trends, profitability of different farm enterprises and producing evidence for use in decision making at the farm.

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