Sustainable and Inclusive Food-Systems Agents (SIFA) Kadongo Farmers Consultative Meeting

We have been actively working to amplify the voices of marginalized communities, improve their skills, and advocate for institutional frameworks that address their specific needs and interests. As part of our Sustainable and Inclusive Food-Systems Agents (SIFA) project, we have been conducting consultative meetings with communities to discuss the intersection of food and climate. In collaboration with the Lake Region Economic Network (LREN), we engaged with farmers in Kadongo, Kasipul Constituency, Homabay County on July 6th, 2023.

The group of farmers primarily focuses on agroforestry and sells tree seedlings along the Kisumu-Homabay highway. Their strategic location by the highway has facilitated easy access to clients. They have played a crucial role in reclaiming the land adjacent to the road, which now houses a small forest. Additionally, they are involved in banana, maize, vegetable, and livestock farming. These farmers recognize the importance of agriculture in ensuring food security and economic empowerment.

However, they face various challenges. One of the major issues is the lack of accessible water. Both the farmers and the community rely heavily on Nyang’are springs as their primary water source, which has not been piped to homes and farms. Moreover, the cost of farming inputs is prohibitively expensive, significantly increasing their production expenses. They also expressed their concerns about the absence of agricultural extension services and field training programs. In the past, these services were provided with government support but have since been discontinued. Additionally, the farmers mentioned the deterioration of soil health due to the lack of soil testing services and abandonment of crop rotation as many farmers prefer to cultivate fast-growing crops like maize, every season. Their reliance on chemical fertilizers has also increased, posing challenges for those who cannot afford them and leading to heightened food insecurity.

The farmers emphasized the need for improved market linkages for their produce. They highlighted the decline in banana cultivation due to the absence of a market. They mentioned that value addition would be highly beneficial, particularly during times of abundance when the market becomes saturated. Currently, they are forced to sell their vegetables at very low prices. Lastly, the farmers expressed the necessity for agricultural insurance coverage tailored to their specific needs and interests.

Despite these challenges, the farmers remain committed to their work and have pledged to integrate climate change considerations into their practices. They are willing to act as agents of change in the food system. We are enthusiastic about the prospect of continuing our partnership with this community.

2 thoughts on “Sustainable and Inclusive Food-Systems Agents (SIFA) Kadongo Farmers Consultative Meeting”

  1. Atieno July 24, 2023

    Great work. Kadongo area and entire Kabondo is also known for sweet potato farming.
    It is one of the fertile regions in Nyanza. Better land utilisation and solution to the challenges mentioned will ensure food security in that area.

    • We appreciate your feedback, Queenter. Our intention is to collaborate closely with the community to transform it into a flourishing food basket, not just for Nyanza but for the entire nation.

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