Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Horticultural and dairy farming in the SOS Children's Village Eldoret

Uasin Gishu District is well known for its wide production of food for the nation due to its favourable weather and soils that contribute to the food basket of the country at large. SOS Children’s Village Eldoret is privileged to enjoy these conditions in terms of farming and other socio-cultural activities within the community.

At the inception of the Eldoret children's village enough space was set apart for horticultural farming. Every family house was allocated space behind the house to grow vegetables so that children may learn the need and relevance of work in the community. It was all beauty, and fun to see children take part in farming, though on a small scale.

Way back in the year 2000, Samuel Cheboi, one of the village handy men, was employed to tend the cows that had just been bought. He narrates that he started with two animals that grew to four during his reign and that produced 24 liters of milk per day. Mothers were lavishly treated with creamy milk that was given at a subsidised price from the farm. In addition there was a poultry farm that daily gave 20 crates of eggs that were sold to the family houses at a reasonable fee.

In addition to animal husbandry the children's village also practised growing food crops. Young farmers in the village collectively participated in the growing of maize, tomatoes, onions and so forth. Most of this produce was locally consumed. All these activities contributed to local fundraising programmes for the management of SOS Children's Villages in Kenya.

Richard Korir is currently in charge of the animal husbandry. He coordinates the daily operations including feeding, milking, artificial insemination and treatment of the cattle. The cows have become handy in producing milk especially during the dry season when milk becomes scarce on the market and the family houses are the key beneficiaries. It’s unfortunate that the weather conditions have been unfavourable affecting supply of food from the market; even the village farms have not been tilled to date. It’s our hope that rains will resume to facilitate farming once again for Uasin Gishu District to regain its glory as the food basket of the Kenyan economy.

by Simon M Mudi
Youth Leader

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

The idea of every family house having a piece of land to practice smallscale farming is indeed amazing. The Children get to experience what most Children in town areas don't and most importantly the work ethic is inculcated in them.

Anonymous said...

The idea of every family house having a piece of land to practice small-scale farming is indeed amazing. The Children get to experience what most Children in town areas don't and most importantly the work ethic is inculcated in them.

Anonymous said...

Here is an idea one could try out. When you boil the milk and the cream is on the top layer, remove it and put it separately in a cup or something. Collect a reasonable amount, this depends on the number of litres one boils. The next time you make ugali put it in the water and cook your ugali.I promise you, you won't regret, especially for the mothers.

Gilbert arap Bor said...

Congratulations to SOS for the wonderful idea. We practice the same at the St. George's School in Kapseret (near Eldoret International Airport). The school is a regular village school with a difference in that we have a unit for children with special needs and we also admit orphans and other vulnerable children. With assistance from Agri, we have developed a vegetable garden and a zero-grazing unit. Vegetables and milk are used to provide the children with a balanced diet. Besides, the school feeding programme ensures that children are more attentive in class.

Gilbert arap Bor
Chairman, School Management Committee.
gilbertbor@gmail.com
+254 722 391930