Community members of Nyakach planting kales on the micro garden
The training session for the extension officers entered day two with a focus on the importance of urban agriculture.
While there is steady rise in human population, more people continue to starve globally hence prompting the adoption of urban farming technologies as a measure to sustain lives and to demystify the notion that farming is mainly for the rural folk.
Urban agriculture also known as urban farming, refers to growing plants and rearing animals that produce food within a city or town.
It also comprises processing and then distributing that produce throughout the city.
The green home technologies such as moist gardens, shade net, micro gardens, key hole garden, hanging gardens, multi storey garden and green houses are progressively emerging as sources of nutrition and food security in the urban and peri urban settlements.
Besides offering food security, urban farming also comes with an array of benefits including job opportunities in line with agri business, community building due to shared responsibilities, it is educative as it involves both adults, youths and children, an ambience of green spaces with aesthetic appeal, reduction of surface run offs and fixing of carbon through photosynthesis.
The emerging farming technologies do not require large parcels of land and the input is affordable hence can be done by anyone. They are also considered a form of exercise to town dwellers who are perceived to only engage in lighter activities.
The major challenge experienced with this kind of farming are the old legislative restrictions on urban farming that should be reviewed to conform to the changing times.
By: Emily Mikwa
CEC Memeber for Agriculture Mr. Gilchrist Ockuom Addressing extension officers of the during their training in Kakamega
Thirty extension officers (TOTs) from departments of Agriculture,Health, Environment,Trade & Cooperative are undergoing a five day training on Urban Agriculture Technologies, crops & Livestock, Aquaculture technologies,Food waste management,Food quality & safety, Entrepreneurship & Business Development at the Golf Hotel in Kakamega
The Trainer of Trainees (TOTs) will later be expected to train farmers and other value chain actors within Kisumu county: specifically in.KisumuWest,Kisumu East,Kisumu Central and Nyando sub counties.
The TOTs will also support grant beneficiaries through capacity building.
This comes at a time when Agriculture department is also putting up a call center to interact with farmers and fisher folk across the county. This is set to be officially launched this Wednesday.
While presiding over the official opening of the training workshop, the CEC Agriculture, irrigation, livestock and fisheries Mr. Gilchrist Okuom thanked FAO for the continued support and for coming in to fill in the gaps on production at a time when the county experienced twin disasters of floods. and Covid -19 that adversely affected production.
He reiterated that the county is doing well in production of traditional leafy vegetables. He however challenged the extension officers that the investment being put in them this day must have an impact in the lives of the people by tapping into the potentials of the adults and youths to bring back them to production.
“We must walk the talk” said Mr Okuom
On his part the FAO inclusive value chains sub program head, Mr Tito Arunga thanked the county for the cordial working relations. As partners, they are committed to improving the livelihoods of the people by impacting on them positively.
The trainings are supported by FAO Kenya under the urban food systems project in collaboration with Kisumu county government.
The session was also graced by the Chief Officer crops, Dr. Paul Omanga, Director Livestock Mr Kakuku, Director crops Mr. Okech,the facilitators Bereta Ngunjiri from Ministry of Agriculture, Rebbeca Wanjiru and Winnie Yegon from FAO, Rael Mwando from MOH, Erick Ogadho the project liaison officer, Rose Achieng the FLAG coordinator among other participants.
By Emily Mikwa