Using Climate Smart Technologies for Continuous Production

As we walk through Everlyne Juma’s farm, we cannot help but marvel at how neat and presentable it is; the complete opposite of her neighbours who have not yet embraced climate-smart technologies to help them deal with the effects of climate change. The mother of six married to Moses Mandu has been using irrigation to water her indigenous vegetables and mulching for her Sukuma wiki. The results have been very good.

Everlyne is part of the Esicoma CU group, which started in 2018 and had 10 members (2m, 8f) with its main objective being to engage in the merry-go-round and communal labour to assist them during farm preparation. At that time, her half-acre piece of land was used to produce 5 bags of maize through the use of fertilizers and certified seeds. Her expenditure on food items was high making it difficult to balance school fees payments.

In the year 2020, she interacted with the Food Security in Light of Climate Change Project through meetings organized by the community facilitator Irene Kubasu and became consistent in receiving training on crop diversification such as cassava, orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, indigenous vegetables (spider plant, cowpeas, crotalaria, black night shade and amaranth) and fruit trees such as avocados, pawpaws and bananas for nutrition diversity. Other additional technologies practiced on her farm include use of raised beds, sunken beds, mulching, seed multiplication and spring onions to repel insects from the vegetable gardens. She also harvests rain water through a tank and has improvised a horse pipe connection to help supplement piped water for irrigation of her vegetables.

Everlyne has been able to generate a monthly income of Kshs. 10,000 from the sale of indigenous vegetables. Her household is also able to access a constant supply of fresh vegetables which has greatly reduced her income expenditure of Kshs. 150 daily from buying vegetables This has enabled her to save 200/= weekly in table banking and buy household items such as soap, and cutleries and take children to school. The neighbours have benefited through plucking some vegetables for consumption.

Everlyne confirms that she no longer begs her husband for money, if she wants meat she sells vegetables and buys meat. They have also changed from growing maize to indigenous vegetables which traditionally was the main subsistence crop.  Gender division of labour has improved since Everlyne and her husband are able to work together on their farms. She hopes to address the existing challenges such as lack of materials for mulching, Moles which have been eating potato vines through intercropping gliricidia trees in her farm, as well as reduce animal destruction from neighbours who have left the livestock for free range grazing  through fencing her farm.

Her husband is grateful to the project for enabling him to see the value of crop diversification and changing his mindset on farming as an enterprise.

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