Past Project: Food Security Project
The district of Mogotio is a semi-arid area which experiences scant and unpredictable levels of rainfall throughout the year. Farmers thus find it difficult to plan ahead and choose what crops they should grow in any given year. The staple food in East Afrcia is maize and most farmers in Mogotio choose to plant maize, along with beans. However the climate is more suited to short and scrubby vegetation. Crops such as maize and beans do not fare well and it is normal that fifty percent of such crops will fail.
Having assessed the problems that exist in the Mogotio district, Development Pamoja set up a community-run farm on two acres of rented land. The aim was to promote the following: Having assessed the problems that exist in the Mogotio district, Development Pamoja set up a community-run farm on two acres of rented land. The aim was to promote the following:
- drought-resistant crops such as sorghum and pigeon peas will result in a higher yield
- the use of irrigation systems can ensure that even non-drought-resistant crops such as maize and peas can reach maturity
- cash crops such as butternut squash and watermelon can provide additional income
- indigenous crops with high nutritional benefit are better than some less-nutritious staples
The farm was a community-run initiative and those who farmed it shared in the profits. The farm ensured food security for those who worked on it as well as providing additional income. Because we are continually looking for better ways to improve water security, this project was succeeded in 2012 by our new drip irrigation farm which was put in place to demonstrate more efficient use of water.