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Monday, 26 January 2015

Matwiku Horticulture Group set to host an open day

Bob Aston
The Matwiku Horticulture Growers Self Help Group is set to host an open day on January 30, 2015 at their demonstration farm in Matwiku, Laikipia West. The group is implementing a Climate Smart Agriculture project implemented by Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) with financial support from Act Change Transform (Act!). The project aims to strengthen communities’ resilience to impacts of climate change while conserving natural resources in Laikipia County.
Members of the group planting in their demonstration plot
Matwiku Horticulture Growers S.H.G was formed in January 2014 to champion the interests of farmers in Matwiku village. The group comprises 22 members, nineteen male and three female.
Mr. Peter Gatheru, Chairman, Matwiku Horticulture Growers S.H.G said that the open day will provide farmers from Matwiku and the County government an opportunity to learn more about Climate Smart Agriculture, drip irrigation and water harvesting technologies.
“We are already practicing Climate Smart Agriculture and it will be a privilege to share with other farmers what we are doing. We want other farmers to also adopt drip irrigation technology because of its many benefits,” said Gatheru.
He said that farmers will be able to see how they have used drip irrigation to water their tomatoes, capsicum and cabbages. He said farmers will also learn from the members about the different irrigation techniques and the benefits of drip irrigation system.
He said that he hopes that through interaction with the County government during the open day the County government will be able to replicate the project to other parts of the country in order to mitigate against the effects of climate change which has affected food production in Laikipia County.
Members of the group laying out drip irrigation tapes
Samwel Nyaga, a resident of Naibrom is among the farmers anxiously anticipating the open day. Nyaga said that he has heard a lot about the project both from ALIN and members of the group.
“Last year I attended the Laikipia County stakeholders meeting on Climate Change adaptation which was organized by ALIN. During the meeting I learned about the vulnerability study conducted in the area. Now I will get the chance to see for myself what they are doing,” said Nyaga.
Climate smart agriculture entails reducing emissions at the farm level, conserving natural resources like soils and water while increasing nutritious food production at household level and at the same time increasing family incomes.
On behalf of ALIN we would like to welcome members of the public to the open day which will be held at Matwiku Horticulture Growers S.H.G demonstration farm in Matwiku, Laikipia West on January 30, 2015 from 9:00 am. The event will be graced by officials from the County government of Laikipia.
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