Kenya: Kenya Forest Service has conducted a Forestry Farmer Field Schools (FFFS) graduation ceremony for farmers in Bomet and Kericho counties trained over one year by the Service through the Green Zones Development Support Project Phase II (GZDSP).
The colourful ceremony was presided over by Beatrice Mbula (DCCF-Forestry Advisory, County Liaison and Investment), who noted the impact of the training as 66 graduating farmers demonstrated practical knowledge acquired over the training period focussing on agroforestry, food security and value addition practice, climate change resilience/adaptation, and agribusiness enterprises among other skills gained from the tailor-made curriculum aimed at improving their livelihood and increasing the country’s forest and tree cover through conservation and on-farm tree growing.
The focus of the training ensures benefitting farmers from the 15 counties within the project’s scope receive socioeconomic support from GZDSP-II, an African Development Bank (AfDB) and GoK-funded project.
Farmers are also incentivised through the project to establish sustainable group income generating activities ranging from posho mills, tree nurseries, apiculture, fish and poultry farming, and fruit farming ventures, among other economic activities.
They are also encouraged to create a ripple effect by sharing this knowledge with other farmers from established demonstration farms.
FFFS is an innovative community centred participatory approach that identifies the farmer’s problems and establishes ways to sustainably solve them as farmers come together to establish problems and, with technical support from the Service, conduct practical solutions through the field schools.
While awarding the graduands with certificates, Mbula encouraged the farmers to integrate all the skills gained in agroforestry, noting the importance trees address in everyday living.
She further articulated the Service’s mandate in amplifying the call by the president for members of the public to participate in the 15 billion tree growing campaign to enable the country to achieve a 30% tree cover by 2032.
Also present during the graduation ceremony was the Mau Regional Forest Conservator, Humphrey Monari, County Forest Conservators, Dennis Kerengo (Bomet), Joseph Maina (Kericho), local leaders and representatives from the counties, members of Chepalungu CFA, among others.