Food insecurity is a major challenge to the world today. Lack of food is a precipitant of other social vices such as malnourishment, insecurity, and even low literacy levels. Despite these facts, agriculture continues to face myriad challenges.
With adverse climatic changes and poor markets, producing food has never been tougher. For farmers who soldier on, agricultural knowledge is becoming a necessity. Skills and productivity go together as empowered farmers tend to maximize production using little available resources. Lack of necessary skills affects the quantity and even the quality of food being produced.
Through the IMPACT Program, farmers in Turkana County’s Turkwel and Katilu wards have been receiving training on Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs). With most farmers in the project areas being former pastoralists, farming skills remain limited.
The training includes leadership skills and sessions on group dynamics. The courses are important for the farmers who are usually organized into communal schemes. Resources such as water are usually shared. Strong leadership that understands all its members is, therefore, necessary to settle conflicts and steer the scheme towards its goals.
The on-site training conducted by PanAfricare and Turkana County Agriculture Officers focuses on the optimum use of limited resources such as water. They train farmers on soil conservation, preserving soil fertility, and integrated pest management. These skills are important as they make agriculture affordable; skills such as that of pest management only require farmers to use locally available herbs to make herbicides.
Farmer training has been proven to be effective, on-site training gives farmers a chance to have a real-time experience of what they are being taught. On-site training also gives trainers a chance to localize their training to fit the local setting. Knowledge transfer is therefore more successful.
The IMPACT Program supports farmers in Turkana County through such capacity building sessions, building and rehabilitation of farm infrastructure, and support through the provision of quality seeds and farming tools.