Nine ASAL counties trained on resilience and livelihoods programmes
Baringo Countybecame the host to eight Arid and Semi-Arid (ASAL) countieswhose officials were being trainedon best practices and practical approaches of building community resilience.
The officials mainly from Baringo, Wajir, Tana River, Marsabit, Samburu, Mandera, Isiolo, Turkana and Garissa counties underwent a four day workshop at Soy safari lodge in Marigat town where theywere taken through the roles and contribution of the county specific sustainable food systems strategies in both county and national development agenda through their County integrated development plans (CIDPs), sustainable development goals (SDGs), Big for agenda and Kenya’s vision 2030.
According to Prof Bancy Mati, an expert on land and water management, food systems in counties have been threatened by pressure on land and natural resources due to increasing climate change hence it has come a time when targeted communities need to create and utilize productive climate assets in order to improve access to innovate risk management and financing tools.
Prof Mati who is also a lecturer at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT)urged the participants to share their experiences and lessons on practical approaches for implanting prioritized county food systems.
|Deputy governor H.E Jacob Chepkwony addressing officials from nine ASAL Counties during a training on resilience and livelihoods programmes.|
Baringo deputy governor Jacob Chepkwony who officially opened the workshop lauded the programme saying that it will build synergy amongst the affected counties as well as creating a thought ways of addressing food security in a structured livelihood.
“We want to make our communities to appreciate themselves by finding the need to address lasting solutionto hunger in our respective regions,” said Chepkwony.
The Deputy governorencouraged farmers to move from the 19th century ways of farming and embrace modern technologies in order to realize sustainable productivity.
At the same time he challenged officials undertaking resilience programmes in the region to always provide quarterly reports on hunger situation to assist both the national and county governments as well as the financial partners have a status of the programme.
HASS AVOCADO IN BARINGO COUNTY
Farmers have been urged to diversify in their agricultural activities in order to benefit from the marketing opportunities created by the government and its stakeholders.
One of the opportunities which Kenyan farmers can benefit from is the direct export of horticultural crops particularly Hass Avocados that has high demand in Europe and USA.
Baringo County Governor H. E. Stanley Kiptis with Principal Secretary State department for Irrigation Prof Fred Segor launched the continuous distribution of Hass avocados to various registered farmers in Baringo County at Perkerra Irrigation scheme-Marigat and Kabarbet area of Kabartonjo Ward.
H.E Kiptis urged farmers to embrace the crop variety saying it has been proven to have higher pricing index like Macadamia compared to other crops.
County government will support farmers acquire free seedlings, subsidized agrochemicals and provide technical support to ensure that farmers get value for their money through value addition thus making them economically stable.
The governor anticipated that his administration is also focusing on other sectors like dairy, honey, coffee as well as carry out value addition on livestock products.
Prof. Segor revealed that the government is targeting to support farmers grow 3million Hass Avocado seedlings and one million Macadamia in the next two years.
According to the PS, the government is not only striving to address food security agenda but to meet the direct export market demand after President Uhuru Kenyatta signed a bilateral trade agreement with China for Kenya to export Hass Avocados.
It is estimated that the venture gives a farmer an annual income returns of Ksh 400,000/- per acre in the recommended ecological zones if good crop husbandry is practiced.
This affruitation programme is specifically aimed at reducing over dependency on one crop, and help farmers to be economically stable and make our county the county of plenty food.
400 Girls undergo Alternative rite of Passage
More than 400 girls from Baringo underwent an alternative rite of passage other than the outlawed female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriages.
The girls between ages of nine to 16 years from Mochongoi, Kisanana, Ilchamus and Mukutani wards graduated at Sandai African Inland Church grounds in Baringo South Sub County after a week of training and sensitization.
County first lady Ivy Kiptis noted that the retrogressive practice which is still practiced by some of the communities in the region has claimed several lives of brilliant minds of hard working girls in the society.
Mrs Kiptis stated that the alternative rite of passage will be initiated every year in order to instill good morals and guide the girls not to participate in engagements that promote early marriages.
“I am determined to ensure cases of early marriages and FGM comes to an end in Baringo County so that our girls get enough time to concentrate in their education,” she assured.
County first lady Mrs Ivy Kiptis (in blue and yellow) with Isiolo first lady Wato Kuti joins the initiates in a song and dance during their alternative rite of passage graduation ceremony at Sandai African Inland Church grounds in Baringo South Sub County
The County first lady urged the girls to observe what they have learnt during the entire training period in order to make the fight against FGM and early marriage a success in the vast county.
Trans Nzoia first lady Lydia Khaemba who also joined Baringo first lady during the occasion urged fathers from pastoral communities to be in the forefront in advocating for Anti-FGM and early marriage.
Mrs Khaemba said young girls are talented people who need protection from both parents because they will bring success to their families in the future.
Isiolo First lady Wato Kuti suggested that circumcisers should also be educated on the disadvantages of FGM to prevent them from engaging in the dangerous cut that can injure young females.
Mrs Kuti who was accompanied by her Nakuru Counterpart Elizabeth Kinyanjui called on circumcisers to surrender themselves and do way with the tools they were using in order to be considered in other productive income generating activities in their respective counties.
At the same time she urged assistant chiefs and chiefs to apprehend FGM and early pregnancies perpetrators so that they can be charged in the courts.
Rev Jane Bitok, one of the trainers revealed that the girls while in camp apart from being trained about the harmful traditional practices also were taken through reproductive health and hygiene, how to handle relationships, good morals and ethics, HIV and AIDS scourge, adolescence and body changes as well as learning biblical teachings.
Rev Bitok said their main aim is to empower the girls to learn the negative effects of some retrogressive practices which will guide them not to for fall prey to circumstance that can make them become mothers before their right ages.
Others leaders present during the graduation ceremony were director of National irrigations board Grace Kiptui and Rose Kamuren, the wife of Baringo South Member of Parliament.
The program is initiated by the office of the first lady Baringo County in collaboration with other societies and organizations such as USAID, World Vision and “Irip Gaa” a community based organization.
In a move to upscale food security efforts, the County government of Baringo has handed over more than 270 Galla goats to residents of Barwessa Ward in Baringo North Sub County.
The Goats that were distributed across the Ward with each sub location receiving 27 goats, which targets the vulnerable in the society in order to improve their livelihoods.
While officially handing over the livestock, Governor H.E Stanley Kiptis stated that, under his administration’s resilience programme, it will help in improving the livestock breeds in the lower parts of the County.
“These improved breeds will fetch higher prizes compared to indigenous ones thus creating wealth for our farmers,” said the Governor.
Another focus that Kiptis revealed is giving out doper sheep and Sahiwal cattle breeds that can adapt to harsh climatic conditions frequently experienced in these areas.
Residents could not hide their joy while receiving the goats saying that County government should increase the number to accommodate more beneficiaries.
Also at Marigat in Baringo south sub county, the county government has continued to enhance its effortsof improving livestock production by providing quality breeds.
|H.E Governor Stanley Kiptis handing over one of the galla goats to a local farmer in Barwesa Ward.|
The department of Agriculture and livestock distributed 10 two-year old Sahiwal bulls to farmers groups to improve livestock productivity in the county.
CEC for Agriculture, Dr Richard Rotich said the distribution will improve livestock productivity in the identified areas of Kabarnet and Kapropita Wards in Baringo Central, Barwessa and Saimo Soi Wards in Baringo North, Ripkwo Kositei and Kollowa Wards in Tiaty, Emining and Mogotio Wards as well as Marigat and Ilchamus Wards in Baringo South.
"Our department will follow up the beneficiaries and ensure that the ten bulls are well taken care of until the time the project becomes sustainable," said Dr. Rotich.
He noted that the breeds are adaptable in the lower parts the County and are highly resilient to drought where water and pastures are inadequate.
Farmers who benefited from the program have expressed their gratitude towards County government for coming up with such a noble program which will improve their livelihoods.
They promised to take good care of the bulls which will they believe will enhance their economic livelihoods.
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