P.o. Box 678, 20200 Kericho
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FFS

FARMERS FIELD SCHOOLS (FFS) NARRATIVE REPORT

The year 2015 was when farmers Field School was started in Kericho diocese.  Two schools of 72 farmers were piloted in the two Parishes of Ainamoi and Kapsoit.  Farmers Field School (FFs) is a model whereby farmers are selected in a parish or in an area grouped together and trained by a well-trained facilitator on general Agricultural techniques. The curriculum stresses on experimentation, analysis and decision making by farmers themselves.  This training is participatory and discovery learning approach model.

Through a discovery-based approach farmer are able to improve on their decision-making skills through a field situation analysis by observing, drawing and discussing and the farmers are guided to critically analyze and make better decision in their farms.

To put into practice the skills and knowledge they acquire from the training, farmers are given soft loans inform of agricultural farm inputs that is the planting and tip dressing fertilizers in order to put into practice the lessons they learnt in their farms.  These Loans depends on the acreage of the farms normally the agreed acreage ranges from a half or one full acre.  The total loan for a half an acre is Kshs.6,500 and Kshs.9500 for one acre.

Each Farmer Field School must have a demo plot where they put into practice what they learn in their classes.  There is a component of Bible Study where farmers are nurtured into spiritual growth through the Kingdom Life Bible Study.  Our pastors are the ones who lead in facilitating the Bible study Component.

Farmers are trained on diversification of plants varieties.  These include Cereals, Tubers pastures, fruits, roots, Vegetables, Poultry keeping, Livestock keeping. Cereals include Maize, Millet, Sorghum, Wheat, Beans, and Peas.  Tubers include Sweet potatoes, irish potatoes and roots.

Pastures includes Napier grass, Brachiaria (Muldato), Rhodes, green and silver desmodium, lagged small seterias fruits includes passion fruits, Avocados, Mangoes, Melons (Sweet and water Melons) Bananas both local and new varieties.  Vegetables includes Cabbages, Kales, Ethiopian Kales and local vegetables like spider plants black night shade and many other more.

Livestock includes; Poultry keeping; chicken rearing for eggs and for meat ducks, geese and turkeys, Dairy cows for milk and for meat.

PROGRESS FROM THE FIRST-GENERATION FARMERS FIELD SCHOOLS (FFS)

The table below shows the first generation Farmers Field Schools in Kericho Diocese.

NAME

PARISH

YEAR

Jerusalem FFs

Ainamoi

2015-2017

Lord’s Blessings FFs

Kapsoit

2015-2017

Promised Land FFs

Ainamoi

2017-2018

Lord’s Fruits FFs

Kapsoit

2017-2018

Calvary FFs

Kipkelion

2017-2018

Garden of Eden FFs

Belgut

2017-2018

Jesus is the Answer FFs

Kericho

2017-2018

Bethzaida FFs

Bureti

2017-2018

These schools were started between 2015 and 2018.  With the success realized from this first generation Farmers Field School the diocese initiated a scale up of the project in 10 more areas.  The laid down criteria was followed by the diocese in identifications of the sites for the scale up which included identification and intensification of the common problem in the area.

GRADUATION

The six schools from this first generation Farmers Field School had their graduation on 2/9/2019.  This time all the schools were graduated together in one area and the occasion was graced by the Bishop diocese of Kericho Rt. Rev. Ernest Ng’eno, members from just Earth Kenya executive, members, officers from ministry of Agriculture among many invited guests.  The occasion was colorful and the graduands were issued with certificates after passing the exams.

THE SECOND GENERATION FARMERS FIELD SCHOOLS

These are the schools which were established between 2018 and 2019.  Below is a table showing the names, Parishes and establishment year of the schools.

NAME OF SCHOOL

PARISH

YEAR

Lord’s Vineyard FFs

Londiani

2018-2019

Jesus Cares FFs

Kamwingi

2018-2019

God’s Grace FFs

Kapsoit

2018-2019

Bethlehem FFs

Olkeri

2018-2019

Good Samaritan FFs

Kapsoit

2018-2019

Canaan FFs

Manaret

2019-2020

God is Able FFs

Sotik

2019-2020

God’s Favor FFs

Saruchat

2019-2020

Judea FFs

Nkareta

2019-2020

Nazareth FFs

Ainamoi

2019-2020

It is procedural that every farmers Field School should open its doors to the community in a period of at least one year to see what the farmers had been learning and practicing in their demonstration plots.  It is in this line that the two schools Lord’s Vineyard and Jesus cares both from Londiani and Kamwingi parishes had their field day on 10/1/2018 at ACK St Georges and Andrew’s church where their demonstration plot is situated.

The occasion was colorful and was graced by Rt. Rev. Ernest Ng’eno, Bishop of Kericho diocese with visitors from Trinity church Cheltenham Rev. Andrew Blyth and Harry Stephen and visitors from Ministry of Agriculture, and many people from the surrounding community.

Their demonstration plot was full of beautiful and healthy crops.  The other new schools 2019-2020 are doing very well.  The schools from Ainamoi parish by the name Nazareth FFs and Judea in Nkareta planted maize and their farms and their demo-plot are full of healthy crops, the rain in these two places are on, and so the farmers are hopeful that they will have a bumper harvest in this season.  The other schools especially those in the Southern part of Kericho that is Sotik Archdeaconry are also doing very well despite the delay of rain and affect of maize lethal necrosis disease.  Though their maize were wiped out but they also opted for beans so their farms are full of healthy beans and they are very happy and hopeful for good harvest this season.

WHAT FARMERS FIELD SCHOOL HAS ACHIEVED

Farmers Field School depends on the philosophy that has 4 fundamental canons that build up the farmers;

Ø  A farmer to plant high quality crops and keep health and high-quality animals/poultry.

Ø  A farmer to take care of good and friendly insects to the farmer e.g bees.

Ø  A farmer must visit his or her farm regularly.

Ø  A farm should become an expert in what he does in this farm.

It is in this regard that our farmers nowadays have enough food and the surplus to sell in their families.  Malnutrition is becoming something of the past in most of our farmers’ families most of our farmers nowadays are able to contribute for the less fortunate in their societies especially the widows and orphans.

Our farmers are now doing Agri-business especially in Horticulture.  So, Farmers Field School is positively transforming 3,672 household in Kericho diocese.  As a response to Bible Study which is normally done by our able clergy,  our farmers are able to give their tithes  to the church and hence help to boost the mission work in their own local churches and in the diocese at large.

 REPAYMENT OF LOANS

The repayment of Loans in our schools is in progress.  We have devised a method whereby a farmer is supposed to pay the loan in three installments 20%, 30% and 50%.  A farmer is supposed to pay 20% of the total loans before he or she is given the farm inputs then after three or four months, a farmers should pay 30% and after harvest she or he must clear the remaining 50%, so all schools have completed the 20% and others have paid their 30% also.

SUSTAINABILITY

Farmers Field School FFs has joined hands with Kericho credit development Trust a micro-finance in the diocese to train farmers on how to save money so that when we scale them up, they will be able to continue with their farming without any struggle in future.  Already the KCDT coordinator and the coordinator FFs visited some schools to prepare them with sustainability message.

CHALLENGES

Despite the fact that farmers field school is doing so well, but there are also some challenges.  The first challenge       is the change of environment, sometime it can rain heavily that destroy the crops or fail to rain for a long period hence untimely planting for farmers that encourages different types of diseases like, maize lethal necrosis disease (MLND)and infestation of army worms.

Second challenge is the procurement of farm inputs e.g planting fertilizer and calcium Ammonia Nitrate (CAN) for top dressing.  The government has put a lot of stringent measures that makes it had for most of our farmers to acquire it but we are still discussing with the ministry of agriculture to see how to help our farmers.

Repayment of loans is another challenge that is sometime slow down the well running of FFs.  It is not that the farmers do not pay but they don’t pay on the right time and others have to be followed in order that they pay.  This is due to their crops being attacked mostly by (MLND) Maize Lethal Necrosis disease, attack of army worms and others because of dwindling of market for their farm produce but we normally encourage them to pay in time.

CONCLUSION

Farmers Field School (FFs) in Kericho diocese is doing good, farmers who were affected by some maize diseases were given beans and vegetable, seeds and their farms are full of health crops and expecting to reap more in terms of money when they sell their produce.  Bible Study component in our FFs is doing so well in nurturing our farmers and now most of local churches have leaders and preachers from FFs.

Most of the schools who had our FFs loan debts have promised to complete before December this year.  We are thankful that we will train our own facilitators who will help to train most of our schools in future.

APPRECIATION

We cannot forget to register our appreciations to our following dear friends who we are still walking together in this noble task.  With a lot of thanks in our hearts we acknowledge the partnership of Trinity church Cheltenham U.K.  You are brave and worth to be praised.

Your sacrifices have touched a lot of people in Kericho diocese and more so enabling them have good nutritious meal and educate their children.  Out of 15 schools, you are fully funding 13 active schools in Kericho diocese God bless you. We cannot also forget Just Earth International who brought FFs to Kericho diocese and we still work together through their Agro economist on areas of Agro-technologies may God bless you in his Kingdom.

LIST OF FARM SCHOOLS

NAME

PARISH

YEAR

Jerusalem FFs

Ainamoi

2015-2017

Lord’s Blessings FFs

Kapsoit

2015-2017

Promised Land FFs

Ainamoi

2017-2018

Lord’s Fruits FFs

Kapsoit

2017-2018

Calvary FFs

Kipkelion

2017-2018

Garden of Eden FFs

Belgut

2017-2018

Jesus is the Answer FFs

Kericho

2017-2018

Bethzaida FFs

Bureti

2017-2018

Lord’s Vineyard FFs

Londiani

2018-2019

Jesus Cares FFs

Kamwingi

2018-2019

God’s Grace FFs

Kapsoit

2018-2019

Bethlehem FFs

Olkeri

2018-2019

Good Samaritan FFs

Kapsoit

2018-2019

Canaan FFs

Manaret

2019-2020

God is Able FFs

Sotik

2019-2020

God’s Favor FFs

Saruchat

2019-2020

Judea FFs

Nkareta

2019-2020

Nazareth FFs

Ainamoi

2019-2020