ALIN Awarded 2011 Access to Learning Award by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

James Nguo, ALIN Regional Director, rejoices after the announcement in San Juan, Puerto Rico by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Photo: © BMGF

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sorghum quality

Gadam sorghum was declared cash crops in the six districts hived from the larger Mwingi district, (Mwingi central, Mwingi West, Tseikuru, Kyuso, Mwingi East and Migwani) by Senior Assistant Director of Agriculture, Mr, Muia Muindi. Since this time stakeholders has been promoting this crop species day in day out. There has been bumper harvest of this crop since the promotion started especially in Ngomeni in Kyuso District.
The Government launched the sale of newly introduced Gadam Sorghum and green grams in the larger Mwingi district to East African Breweries Limited (EABL) and World Food Programme (WFP).
Quality is a factor that should be considered as the promotion of the crop specie continues for the quality of Gadam sorghum or any other sorghum variety may be affected by insects, excessive heat, mold and sprout
The quality of any variety of sorghum will depend on the genetic, environment, harvesting, drying and storage condition as well as handling/blending
The following are the quality an employer will consider when buying any sorghum variety:
1.      Moisture content maximum          13%
2.      Aflatoxin Maximum                     10 ppb
3.      Broken grain maximum                3%
4.      Sprouted  grain maximum            1%
5.      Other Impurities maximum          1%
6.      Tannin content Maximum            1%
7.      No bad smell
8.      No poisonous Chemicals
9.      No live insects
10.  Maximum 10 dead insects per 1 Kg
11.  Must from entire harvest

Thursday, October 25, 2012

From The Land to the Rock

Due to insufficient of funds farmers have failed to adopt the modern farming technology. This is because most of the farming technologies being promoted by different stakeholders have very expensive inputs. The rainfall is no longer reliable and therefore farmers would be risking if they decide to take a loan from banks and other micro finance institution since they may end up making losses 

Most farmers especially from the arid land communities have decide to come up with their own farm innovation to fight food insecurity in the area.

Mr. Peter Muithya Mulonzya from Twimyua Location, Kyuso Division of Kyuso District Kitui County has decided to move from the land and cultivate on the rocks as his innovation of coping with increasing lowering of water table.

“Decided to start cultivating on the rock when I realized that the water is percolating at a very high rate bearing in mind that the rainfall is not reliable here” says Mr. Muthya.

The innovation involves identifying a flat rock, put a mixture of soil and manure, and enclosed the plot with a wall made of clay soil to prevent the water from flowing out of the plot.  The rock underneath will retain the water to sustain the germination and grow of the crop planted/propagated. This method ensures that no water sips into the ground but used by the growing plant. 

Mr. Muithya has been supplying Kyuso and Tseikuru Market and some other small towns such as Mivukoni, Twimyua and Kalambani in Kyuso district with tomatoes grown in his farm with the help of two workers.
He urges other farmers to come up with climate change coping strategies that are sustainable and the area will be food secure within no time.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Video - Lets use it for development

Video As the importance of dissemination and impact becomes increasingly recognized. Most people are using ever more innovative methods especially when integrating video and blogging.

Kyuso Maarifa centre take video as the best way to reach a desired target audiences. Most people especially in Ukambani don't have time for other modes of dissemination but when its come to video they will allocate sometime for it. The field officer conducted a survey that accommodated the community their levels of interest, and levels of understanding

The question that led the officer to come into a conclusion that video will suit best in this area are as follow:
What is their availability in terms of time?, the community level of interest?, Would people come in seminars or meetings? Could one reach the community through an article?, are there organization that could help in information dissemination?

The Maarifa centre do video screening in the centre, during field days and also using ipod technology.
As the technology improvement takes place, Kyuso community is not left behind. Kyuso Maarifa Centre  is situated in Kyuso district, Kitui County. Kyuso is located approximately 60 kilometers from Mwingi town.
The Ipod technology hit the communities around the district in 2009, unleashing both technology and information on livelihoods and climate change. 

The gadget was highly received with curiosity and enthusiasm by the community members. Nobody had ever seen such a gadget in the area

ipod contents.
Different videos and pictures on climate change and livelihoods awareness, adaptation and perceptions were synched into the gadget. These videos and audio programs can be watched and as well listened to through the ear phones by the user. The ipod can be connected to the computer and use the I tune soft ware for wider viewing and listening.
The I pod have other contents like music, photos, pod casts, Games, calendars, clocks and alarms
This is as well attracting most young people to the centre. Young people are normally very much curious to learning new technologies.