By John Njue
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
Monday, November 18, 2013
By John Njue
Women in Kyuso sub-county have something to smile about after they were introduced to use of donkey for land preparation.
Even though donkeys have been extensively used by people in many areas in the world their use has been synonymous with backwardness, underdevelopment and low status.
Donkey ownership has been associated to women in this area but is only used for ferrying water and farm produce to the market. The symbolic animals for wealth have been considered to be cattle, goats and sheep whereas donkeys reflect poverty and marginalization.
Sustainable Land Management (SLM) project under the Ministry of livestock production in Kyuso led by Mr. John Chege Ndung’u has done a difficult work to convince the residents to use donkey for other activities such as land preparation through plowing.
The farmer have been sensitized to use donkey for plowing as well as how to make proper harness for donkey using locally available materials.
Speaking with Mr. Chege at a women plowing competition using donkeys at Kyandoo he said use of donkey for other chore except ferrying water in the area is alleged to lower the social status of the user.
He informed the congregation that each family in Ukambani has a donkey but few have oxen for plowing. Family without oxen and especially woman led family are queued last when it comes to plowing services by those who have the oxen.
Due to the unreliable rain fall experience in the area, farmer can use donkey for plowing instead of waiting for those who have the oxen to come and offer the service at later date. It’s expected that if farmers adopt using of donkey for plowing they will do early planting and hence producing more leading to ensuring food security in the area.
Kyuso Maarifa centre Field officer Mr. John Njue also promised them of marketing linkages after harvesting through Sokopepe platform which he said can also be accessed on mobile phone. E.g. check agricultural commodity prices by sending a SMS Price#commodity name#Town to 20245. E.g. Price#maize#Nairobi. For more info http://sokopepe.co.ke/