E-EXTENSION

Technology is transforming farmers’ lives through improving efficiency and speed of disseminating information to a large group at the same time. At this era of technological advancement, Farmers need to shift from their traditional

A young farmer following twitter training

way of extension where extension officers were expected to visit and train them in their farms. This limited the number reached due various human and financial resources constraints.

This made our organization to adopt e-extension twitter tool to reach and train our small-scale farmers easily. The model is cost saving and easily accessible by our members who own mobile phones. Just by a tweet hundreds of

of farmers receive the information.

Our extension department has summarized various areas of training in seed production and ecological agriculture with a transmission plan to ensure farmers obtain the information regularly. When this information is tweeted beneficiaries receive it as a short text message. This information tool is suitable and most convenient as our farmers receive a tweet message without any limitation of the type of phone or internet connectivity.

 

Benefits of Seed Saving Unfold

Benefits of Seed Saving Unfold

Farmers selling and exchanging seeds in a seed fair
Farmers selling and exchanging seeds in a seed fair

Seed Savers Network continues to promote agro-biodiversity through community seed systems and seed access for improved seed security among smallholder farmers. Over 6,500 farmers have benefited through interaction with Seed Savers Network in various seed projects and programs this year. This brings the total number of individual farmers served since Seed Savers’ founding to nearly 50,000.

To increase our impact this year we have organized 25 seed fairs throughout the region where farmers are able to exhibit their seeds to members of their own farmer group as well to non-group members. These events bring together more than 200 farmers to learn about the importance of saving, selling, sharing, and exchanging their locally produced seeds with each other. For example, Jane Wanjiru from Eka Tano Women’s Group was able to exchange her bean variety, mwite mania, with Mary Njeri Mwaura from Diatomite Budget Women’s Group, who had the rare mukura noke variety of beans, during a seed fair organized at the Diatomite Farming Center. Others successes include the sale of 100 bunches of sweet potato vines at KSh 100 per bunch by the Diatomite Budget Women’s Group making KSh 10,000 for a non-group member.

At a recent seed fair in Kigogo Mr. Francis Ngiri, a group member of Makongo Farmers Network, sold chia seeds he produced through self-seed saving for KSh 1,700. In addition to Mr. Ngiri’s success, Mary Karori sold cassava cuttings making KSh 400 and Jenifer Ngendo sold 2kgs of broad beans to John Mwaura, a non-group member, for KSh 400.

According to one seed fair attendee, Elizabeth Wangeci, “This is a great approach to farming and we did not know that we can learn that much from each other. As for me I had just one type of beans in huge quantities but I have exchanged to another fast growing variety and I am really grateful.”

This year farmers sold KSh 70,000 worth of seeds to members and non-group members who attended Seed Savers sponsored seed fairs.