SANGO Diaries, Chapter 34. New Farmers are Learning, Lead Farmers are Meeting

Our Project Officer Evance training one of the groups of new farmers on composting. Our theme “Maximizing Your Land” is highlighted on our banner.

Although it is not quite December, we have already started our program for next year! That’s because the long rainy season begins in late February or early March and some of the preparation takes a long time.

Farmers are all given notebooks and pens so they can take notes during training — and most do! They are very eager to learn

We have recruited 224 new farmers for the 2024 program. They are so excited to start training — and very interested! Last week we trained them in organic compost. Compost, as many of you know, greatly improves the quality and yield of crops. Organic compost has the additional benefits of helping maintain soil health and saving the farmers money, as everything they use is readily available on their farms.

Making organic compost has never been more important. One of the local Chiefs recently told us that even farmers who want to buy commercial fertilizer cannot as the supplies are limited and the costs are high. In our meeting with the Chief, Evance detailed how to make organic compost. The Chief was very excited and promised to share it with friends and neighbors. (He would love SANGO-Kenya to come to his village; unfortunately, he lives far from where we work — but we promised to add it to our long-term plans!)

Training for some things, like compost, also includes hands on-practice, as here, where they are making compost.

The way we train farmers to make compost requires time to mature, so they must make it in advance. But the farmers are convinced it is well worth it. Some make enough so they can use it on their entire farms, some even throughout the year.

One of our Lead Farmers reviewing the key points of making compost for existing farmers

All farmers are trained in making compost. Lead Farmers review activities such as making compost with farmers who have already been through initial training, Lead Farmers are so critical to the success of SANGO-Kenya: Each has 5-10 farmers in her group. She visits each one every week, checking on the status of the farm, seeing if there are any problems, providing guidance, and, when necessary, contacting one of our agriculture experts for advice. Then, once a week, the Lead Farmers meet with our team to review what they have found.

One group of Lead Farmers is meeting today. The meetings are so important in many ways — it gives them a chance to learn more, to share their experiences. They really enjoy being leaders. They are recognized not only by the farmers in their groups, but also by the community.

Lead farmers are friends as well as colleagues

They also enjoy being together. They help each other, provide social support — and have fun.

In the United States, today is Giving Tuesday. For the farmers of SANGO-Kenya, it’s just Tuesday.

Erokamano! Asante! Thank you!

With much gratitude from Kenya:
The SANGO-Kenya farmers, their families — and Winnie, Evance, Peter, Constance, and Kit

You can DOUBLE your donation to SANGO-Kenya for Giving Tuesday
Giving Tuesday is November 28. Starting today, all donations to SANGO-Kenya will be matched dollar for dollar up to $5,000, thanks to some of our very generous donors

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