By: Emily Mikwa
Today, 26 members of the Green Network Community Based Organization (CBO) were trained on the importance of agroforestry in leveraging on sustainable food security and green lifestyles courtesy of County Government of Kisumu in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization.
The Green Network CBO is a group from Kisumu West sub county comprising small holder farmers and small traders who are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change since they rely on land for their livelihoods.
The training will go along way in sharpening their skills to adopt different technologies in planting trees and producing food simultaneously.
Tree Planting is an integral part of farming since it offers range of environmental benefits when planted along side crops.
Most trees improve soil fertility by controlling soil erosion, improve water retention capacity of the soil and maintain high level of organic matter.
While briefing the participants on the aims of Green Cities Initiative, the project Liaison Officer, Mr. Erick Ogadho implored on the farmers to embrace and exploit the opportunities that come with urban growth.
He reiterated that initially urban development was purely known for bricks and concrete, thus infrastructural development. Gradually agroforestry in a sustainable environment is becoming part and parcel of urban and Peri urban planning sentiments shared by Martina Rita, a County Officer from the department of Planning.
The Kisumu West Sub county Environment Officer, Jacqueline Mueni on her part, took the participants through the benefits of trees to human life and in farming techniques such as apiculture, horticulture and woodlots.
The county Agricultural Officer, Mr. James Samo delved into the importance of fruit trees.
He challenged the farmers not only take pride in neighboring an international Airport, but to utilize the available opportunities such as the cold room in the Kisumu Airport to store their fruits for export and also consider aspects of value addition.
He further trained them on the best tree planting practices and on pest and disease control to ensure good yields that meet the market standards.
He was accompanied by his counterpart Madam Monica Aluoch Ojigo who assisted during the tree planting exercise.
The Green Network CBO chairman, Mr. Laban Owinga who hosted the training in his horticultural farm thanked County Government and FAO for the training that said is key in boosting their output.
He attested to the fact that his farm has provided practical lessons to the pupils under the new curriculum ; Competency Based Curriculum (CBC). Pupils from the neighboring schools, visit his farm to collect a assortment of trees for their practical lessons.
His clarion call to his team was that they plant more varieties of trees and food crops not only for income and environmental sustainability, but also for purposes of letting others learn from the practices.