Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mbeere Farmers Graduate Via Farmer Field Schools (FFS)

A farmer demonstrates to guests of honour

The graduates pose for a group photo

Mrs. Lucy Kiboi issues a certificate to a graduating farmer.

A total of 86 farmers who had been undergoing a one year course on integrating conventional farming and tree planting otherwise known as the Farmer Field School (FFS) recently graduated in two colourful ceremonies in Mbeere Forest Zone which covers both Mbeere North and South Districts.

Speaking at the event, the Director’s Representative at the graduation ceremony Mrs. Lucy Kiboi who is also the Deputy Director in charge of Corporate Services congratulated the farmers and urged them to apply what they had learnt on their farms in order to alleviate their living conditions. She called upon those who had not joined the FFS to do so as it had been realized that those who had gone through the course were doing better on their farms.

The Deputy Director for Forest Extension Services Mrs. Monicah Kalenda reminded the farmers that the country would only achieve its target of 10% forest cover if farmers plant trees on their farms. Mrs. Kalenda added that KFS had adopted the FFS concept as the preferred methodology for its forest extension in order to reach out to farmers whom she said would drive forest conservation in Kenya.

At the event was the Mbeere North District Commisioner Mr. Chelimo Chebii who informed the farmers that the government was preparing to implement a new regulation that requires all farmers to reserve 10% of their farms for tree planting.

The two groups comprising of mostly women were given practical lessons by KFS extension officers where they learnt for themselves the best crops and tree species to plant in different areas.  And to cap the two events, all the farmers who had successfully completed the course were awarded a certificate which made them expert farmers or wakulima wataalamu. 

Report Courtesy of Leakey Sonkoyo 

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