In Kajiado, women and youth gear up for climate-smart farming

As climate change effects on livelihoods intensify, fresh ideas that enable smallholder farmers to adapt are no longer an option but a necessity.

And with significant parts of Kenya being semi-arid, and now struggling to come to terms with a projected sixth failed rain season in a row, small-scale farming communities in counties such as Kajiado are adapting by learning climate-smart food production techniques, and water and energy conservation methods.

In Nkama village, Kuku ward, Kajiado sub-county, Wezesha agri program, an initiative of the Safaricom Foundation, Digifarm Ltd, Africa In-Store Solutions, and GIZ through the Energising Development Kenya (EnDev) is imparting knowledge on climate-smart farming with irrigation system powered by solar energy.

With a particular focus on youth and women, a total of 279 graduates have received skills in agribusiness and are expected to replicate the same in their homes.

Safaricom Foundation in partnership with Digifarm launched Wezesha Agri program which aims to create dignified employment for at least 100,000 youth in three years, with a specific focus on women and youth. GIZ joined the partnership through the ENDEV program to compliment Wezesha in the promotion of modern solar energy services that support entrepreneurship. PHOTO COURTESY
Lynda Kasina (left), Safaricom Foundation Trustee with Jennifer Githinji (right) Executive Director, Africa In-store Solutions at the Wezesha demo farm in Nkama, Kajiado South sub-county. Through partnerships with like-minded organizations for greater farmer outreach, Kenya can achieve food security through the introduction of new technologies and innovations that support sustainability of programs such as Wezesha. Lynda says the young people, who are graduating are expected to replicate the farm’s success story in other places within the county. PHOTO COURTESY
Some of the 279 graduates under Wezesha agri programme. The farmers will be onboarded onto a support programme that offers them access to agri inputs, credit and market linkages to help grow their enterprises. PHOTO COURTESY
From the choice of seeds, to the application of fertilizers, to the use of various pest control methods, Wezesha Agri programme engages various private sector players to equip farmers with modern practices that can empowers them to run gainful agribusiness enterprises. The Wezesha program set up a demonstration farm in
Kuku ward sub county which targets to reach 1000 women and youth. PHOTO COURTESY
A guest at Wezesha demo farm where a variety of food crops from sweet potatoes to arrow roots to carrots are on display. The local community is embracing crop production in the face of climate change that has left livestock farming a less attractive venture due to lack of adequate feed for animals. PHOTO COURTESY
According to Kajiado County CEC Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Jackline Koin, the devolved unit is the second highest producer of tomatoes in Kenya. A new army of women and youth equipped with necessary skills and knowledge on climate smart farming under Wezesha Agri programme is set to help increase production of the produce. PHOTO COURTESY

Related post