Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Farmers to get loans for IGAs in FAO project


Mr. Patrick Mburu a consultant from ATS Africa takes the farmers through the new application at the Zonal Manager's Office in Londiani. Assisting him is the Project Manager Mr. Oscar Simanto
The farmers and the facilitators take a group photo after the workshop

Farmer groups composed of Community Forest Associations (CFA) which have graduated in Farmer Field School methodologies under the Sustainable Livelihood Development Project (SLDP) being sponsored by FAO will get loans to start Income Generating Activities (IGAs) as individuals and groups starting this August. The project which is being implemented in Kericho Forest Zone will facilitate this in its second phase which is concerned with rural investment.
The project which piloted a programme where farmers monitor and report forest activities using a mobile phone monitoring system has approved a total of 46 proposals by the farmers for funding. The IGAs range from bee keeping, poultry farming to tree nursery business enterprises among other innovative projects. The farmers will use the same system to report on the progress of their business to the project’s administration and FAO.
Speaking at a workshop to familiarize the farmers with the upgraded monitoring system, the Project Manager Mr. Oscar Simanto congratulated the farmers for piloting the mobile phone monitoring system saying that it was not only a first in the region but that it had recorded commendable success. He said that the system will now be rolled out countrywide to other forest areas in the country.
Addressing the same farmers, the FAO/KFS liaison officer Mr. John Ngatia urged the farmers to work hard to service the loans so that other farmers can also benefit. He also congratulated the farmers for leading the way in forest mobile phone monitoring system in the region.
The SLDP project is an initiative of both FAO and KFS meant to supplement the farmers’ income and improve their food security thus reducing pressure of forest resources ina the critical Mau ecosystem.

Article and pictures by Leakey Sonkoyo

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