My name is Kioko Mwangangi. I serve as a Church leader in a rural community in Eastern Kenya. I want to share with you a dream for the people of Africa.
I am a small scale farmer. My farm project includes a small orchard, a tree nursery and an apiary. The proceeds from the farm have supplied for our needs and we have also been able to use them to help others. Managing my soil has been foundational to farming. I would love to expand this model to a demonstration farm that will be managed by youth members of our community.
More than 75% of the population of Kenya live in rural area and depend on farming for feeding, education of children and medical health care. Improvement of the soil will mean better production and livelihood.
Africa also needs enough food and job creation. This model will be a response to both.
Hope from the Soil
“We need healthy soils to achieve our food security and nutrition goals, to fight climate change and to ensure overall sustainable development.”
José Graziano da Silva, FAO Director-General
Farmers can restore soil health through
- Controlling soil erosion
- Growing crops that enrich the soil
- Growing cover crops
- Minimal soil disturbance
- Preservation of organic matter
The land receives rain at least two seasons a year. Due to climate change, the amount of rainfall had been decreasing. Cutting down of trees and lack of care for the water sources has contributed to the change. As a result, the soil has also been affected. Water harvesting is not an option if farmers will want to have healthy soils.
- Building water gabions in the rivers
- Harvesting rain water from buildings
- Building dams
- Caring for the water sources
The Church has dedicated a 3 acre piece of land for a demonstration farm project that will train farmers how to manage soil among other farming ventures. The big idea it to show that there is ‘hope from the soil.’ An average family owns about three acres. The demonstration farm personnel will encourage and train families to replicate the demonstration farm in their family farms. Many have already expressed interest. The Project is named Malooi Youth Demonstration Farm (MYDF).
- A training institution
- Tree nursery
- Fish pond
- Poultry farm
- Wood lot
- Mushroom farm
The project location
Malooi is in Makueni County of Eastern Kenya. Makueni receives 160-650mm per annum and is classified in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL). Almost all of the County is rural with 67% of the population living below poverty line. Many young people have been going to the urban in search of jobs. A knowledge of the treasures in a well-managed soil will reduce the unhealthy migration and create self-employment. The market for fruits, mushrooms, honey in the country is growing and the youth can get what they want in their ancestral lands.
The youth group has already been working in the farm. They started a nursery in 2006 that is now registered with the Horticultural Crops Development Authority (HCDA) and Kenya Plant Health Services Inspectorate (KEPHIS). They have planted citrus, mangoes and avocado trees. In 2011, they planted small forest with about 200 trees in memory of the Nobel Peace Prize Laurette, Wangari Maathai. Several young are ready for training in fields that will be relevant for the demonstration.
The Makueni County Government has offered to do supervisory visits to the farm to offer technical support. The Church has formed a six member advisory board to advice the farm team. In the US, four men and two ladies interested in serving Africa have volunteered to serve as an advisory board. Kioko Mwangangi has committed himself to direct the project for the next five years and work very close with the farm team and the two advisory boards.
Faith and Learning International (FLI), an Illinois Not for Profit Corporation in Wheaton, accredited by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), has made a commitment to help in managing donations as well as issuing tax deductible certificates:
We are also looking forward for advisory guidance and network with:
- Echo East Africa impact Centre http://echonet.org/east-africa-impact-center-1/
- Lausanne Creation Care Network (East and Central Africa chapter) http://www.lausanne.org/networks/issues/creation-care
- Other organizations that have similar visions for Africa.
Invitation to participate
The team invites Churches, institutions, groups, and individuals for financial support and prayers. A quarterly letter giving information on progress will be sent on a quarterly basis. Physical visits whenever possible are also encouraged.
You can choose to give: