Due to the continued generosity of our supporters, SANGO-Kenya has added a second season of programming this year. In August, we provided training and support so all of the women farmers could plant and cultivate orange-flesh sweet potatoes during the “short rains” – the shorter rainy season that generally begins around the end of August and lasts for about a month.
The farmers are very excited about this additional program because, while we continue to promote the traditional green leafy vegetables grown during the long rains season, orange-flesh sweet potatoes provide variety, are rarely grown in the area where we work, are nutrient rich – and they taste great!
It also means SANGO-Kenya is providing year-round training and support to the women.
In the middle of August, our crops expert Dominic and nutrition experts Winnie and Fred provided training to all the farmers in both villages and obtained the vines in time for the rains that typically begin towards the end of the month.
However…the rains did not come. Before planting, there needs to be enough steady rain for the ground to be wet and to nourish the vines so they take root.
The farmers – and our team – were anxious as delayed rains result in lower crop yields, making increased food insecurity more likely. With the combination of late rains and COVID-19, the farmers were getting concerned.
Fortunately, the rains finally began in September, though two weeks later than expected/hoped for. As soon as it was viable to plant, Dom and our Field Officer Winnie distributed the sweet potato vines, and all of the farmers planted right away.
We will be watching closely to see the what impact the delayed rains have on crop yields. Seme sub-county, where we work, is characterized by an arid climate and sandy soils, which is why we promote crops and agricultural methods that are suited to that environment. However, climate change has resulted in later rains, shorter rains, and more frequent flooding. In order to try to combat these effects of climate change, SANGO-Kenya is beginning to explore different methods of sustainable irrigation that might be possible there. But more on that later…
Your generosity has made all of SANGO-Kenya’s programs possible. Your tax-deductible donation today will help SANGO-Kenya continue to recruit, train, and support more farmers so they can improve their nutrition, food, and economic security for themselves and their families. Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution. Thank you.
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