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Kenyan Farmers Receive Greenhouse Kit, Training
Farmers Express Gratitude for Donations, Environmentally Friendly Technology
With much jubilation, song and dance, the Kipchamo Poverty Eradication Program (KIPEP) members received the donated "Greenest of Gifts" greenhouse kit and training in March from volunteer expert Dave Adams in Eldoret Town, Kenya.
ACDI/VOCA’s community made the gift possible by generously donating $11,000 to help combat environmental and food shortage problems facing Kenyans as the country emerges from last year’s drought—its worst in the last half century.
The environmentally sustainable drip irrigation and greenhouse system will allow the KIPEP farmers to grow more—and more nutritious—food and earn more money. KIPEP has a total of 700 members in the Rift Valley, and 11 of its 17 leaders are women. Proceeds from vegetables grown in the greenhouse will be shared by the 13 member groups.
Volunteer expert Dave Adams discusses proper crop management wth KIPEP members.
Kenyan Farmers ‘Very Satisfied’ with Greenhouse Training
Expert volunteer Adams provided training to 45 smallholder farmers (26 of whom were women) from the 13 farmers’ groups that the umbrella organization KIPEP represents. A former Oregon extension specialist in horticulture, Adams is a longtime volunteer with ACDI/VOCA and is skilled at adapting trainings to local cultures.
Adams taught the Kenyan farmers about greenhouse construction and covers, proper planting methods, pollination techniques, soil types, plant nutrition needs, fertilizer use, diseases and pests, irrigation and greenhouse management. The farmers actively asked Adams questions and reported that they were very satisfied with the training.
KIPEP member Pauline Kenduiywo, who is between 60 and 70 years old, says, "I walk about 8 kms one way each day to attend the training and at the end of the day, my legs ache terribly. However, even if the training was to take place for a whole month, I would walk to and from the training each day for the whole training period."
A KIPEP member practices techniques that Adams taught her during the interactive three-day training.
Farmers Share New Skills, Knowledge
Because most of these topics were new to the recipients, Adams developed a growers’ manual for KIPEP members who attended the training. The manual contains the information presented at the training sessions, including a detailed outline with drawings. The participants shared this information with other Kenyan farmers in their communities.
"I cannot read or write, but I have listened carefully and have learned a great deal. Adams’s effort in coming will be put into useful work to benefit the group members, and the group members will live to remember him," Kenduiywo says.
Training Promotes Cost-effective, Environmentally Sound Practices
The training prepared the growers to approach production with more realistic goals and in a more environmentally sustainable manner. Farmers will apply inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides, irrigation water in ways that are cost effective in terms of labor, cash capital and resources, while keeping an eye on reducing the potential for environmental damage.
Adams, KIPEP members and ACDI/VOCA staff at the end of the successful training.
Your Donations Made the Difference
At the end of the training, farmer Rose Lenji said that the group never would have been able to pay for the greenhouse kit and the cost of bringing expert trainer Adams to Kenya from the United States.
Lenji expressed deep gratitude to everyone involved in bringing KIPEP the “Greenest of Gifts,” saying, “Let God pay you."
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