Saturday, January 31, 2009

Crop Advisor Team Rewarded for Their Work

Crop Advisor Team Rewarded for Their Work

We spent yesterday walking to farms of the Ruuju Women and talking with them about their variety trials. We were also able to observe other crops they were growing, such as bananas, mangos, cow peas, pigeon peas, pumpkins and others.

In addition to her kitchen garden, Sabrina Nkura had a greenhouse with drip irrigation. Currently she is using it to grow her kale. The crop looked good but there seemed to be some weak and dead plants. Angus and Susan were able to conclude that the kale was receiving too much water early on. They offered her some advice to help make her crop stronger and complimented her on her farming techniques.

As we were about to leave Sabrina presented us with a live chicken and a bag of mangos. Shauna carried it back to the combi. The chicken was contained in a box with holes and transported back to Jennifer Murogocho’s where we are staying. It lives in her chicken coup and will likely become our dinner before we return to Canada.

Prepared by Shauna Mellish
January 31 2009

Farmers Helping Farmers Team Reviews Corn Varieties

Farmers Helping Farmers Team Reviews Corn Varieties

The headlines of the Kenyan newspapers describe the food situation in Kenya. Many people do not have enough food. The papers report that the price of a bag of maize has been raised from 1900 Kenyan shillings to 2300 Kenyan shillings. Food security is a big issue here now.

The members of the Muchui Womens Group are especially at risk because they live in a very dry area.

Farmers Helping Farmers is carrying out a project with the Muchui Womens Group members in Kiirua to search out and demonstrate drought tolerant crops that will grow in this very dry area.

Angus Mellish, Shauna Mellish and Susan MacKinnon are here in Kenya to review the performance of the crops being grown by the Muchui Womens Group members. They are also looking at the management of the crops.

Yesterday they visited several members’ farms including Isabella Nkubu’s farm and Elizabeth Kirema’s farm. In spite of the poor rainfall, they saw a good stand of maize grown from several varieties of maize seed. There were one to two large well-filled cobs on most plants.
In addition the crops have been well managed. They fields are weed-free, the seed and row spacing is right, the fertility is appropriate -on the whole a great job is being done by these women.

Along with the Kenyan staff working on this project, they will be making recommendations for the next round of crops.

Prepared by Teresa Mellish and Susan MacKinnon
January 30 2009

Kim Critchley visits Childrens Home

UPEI Kim Critchley visits Children’s Home

Kim Critchley is in Kenya this week exploring the possibilities of having 4th year nursing students do a four year rotation at St Theresa’s Maternity and Cottages Hospital. The hospital is located in Kiirua and is run by the Sisters of St. Theresa of the Little Child of Jesus.

The Sisters also run a Children’s Home (we would call it an orphanage) near Kiirua. We saw 20 babies and about 40 children between three and four years old. The babies were being bathed and changed before being taken out to crawl around on a rug.

The three and four year olds included some children from the community as well as the children staying in the home. They were being fed porridge.

Prepared by Teresa Mellish
January 30 2009