Newsflash February 2019

Flood-based rice farming in Ahero

In Ahero (Kenya) over 1000 farmers practice flood-based rice farming and are fully dependent on floodwater. This video gives an overview of their practices and innovations.

Staff training on FBFS and rainwater harvesting

FBLN Malawi trained 42 extension workers from government departments and NGOs in the Shire Valley (Chikwawa and Nsanje Districts). The training took place the 21st and 22nd of January and covered FBFS and rainwater harvesting. Through FBFS the Shire Valley could potentially be the bread basket for the country.Participants visited some farmers practicing FBFS in the area. Communities associate floods with short term benefits in form of relief items e.g. blankets, cooking oil, clothes. However further probing and discussions revealed that FBFS form the basis their food production systems. There is need for more awareness raising on FBFS and changing of attitudes towards floods. Strategies have been drawn to set up demonstration sites and farmer field schools.

   

Field Day on FBLS in Kajiado, Kenya

The Ministry of Agriculture – State Department of Irrigation, is the key institution having collaborating arrangement with ICRAF, and by extension – The FBLS Programme that aspires to cross fertilize knowledge between Africa and South Asia. One of the key areas of focus for the Kenyan Chapter of the FBLS Programme is to map potential sites within the country. The field day was thus organized to convene Kajiado farmers in a bid to sensitize them on the FBLS potential in their county, get them to ground-truth, ascertain and approve the mapping result and expound to them – the opportunities they can tap through enterprises such as Sorghum and Calotropis that can tolerate the twin challenges of flood inundation and cyclic droughts. About 35 farmers attended the field day on the 31st of January and participated in discussions and presentations made by ICRAF, SDI officials and a Lecturer from Jomo Kenyantta University of Agriculture and Technology. Participants were amazed to know that it is possible to grow Sorghum under spate irrigation for animal feed and grains for human consumption as well as beer production. This was evidenced by the research that was undertaken under an MSc project in Kamukuru – Kajiado. The farmers acknowledged and approved the mapping result as shown below.