My name is Samuel Jerry Odindo from Kisumu, Kenya. I am intending to engage in a longitudinal study that monitors the same households for one season and later on displays the information to the farmers on a noticeboard as a way of sensitizing them on good farm management practices. This will be called the Monitoring and Evaluation Food Security Programme (MEFOSEP).
The use of a noticeboard is a positioning concept from community health strategy that uses a chalkboard as community-based health information system to monitor health status in the community. The notice board displays a target plan and a monitoring blank table which is manually updated on a frequent basis.
The indicators have been grouped into six variables that are arranged in a meaningful order. These variables include land cultivation, irrigation, land value addition, crop protection, production and sales.
The production variable is our major concern in the MEFOSEP programme. Knowledge dissemination through noticeboards, trainings, demonstration farms and dialogues with the farmers is used as an intervention put in place as independent variables to propel an increase on the four dependent variables, which have a direct impact on the resultant production.
Key findings will be analyzed and used to determine the role of the information on the notice board in increasing food production and also to determine farm inputs and activities that are associated with production of food crops in a rural location. This approach is a way of eradicating poverty and hunger in the location.
Indicators monitored under each variable include:
- Land cultivation: acres to be ploughed, acres to be planted, quantity of seeds planted.
- Irrigation: number of households using drip irrigation.
- Land value addition: quantity of fertilizers used, acres of land weeded.
- Crop protection: quantity of pesticides used.
- Production: quantity harvested.
- Sales: quantity to be sold, amount received.
Lack of knowledge on the precise quantity of these farms’ input indicators have resulted in low harvests for food crops. An acre has the capacity to produce 2,100 kg, 350 kg, 182 kg, and 1350 kg of maize, beans, groundnuts, and vegetables, respectively. From our baseline survey, the production from an acre was 237kg, 63kg, 175kg, and 629kg of maize, beans, groundnuts and vegetables, respectively.
The deficit between the expected and observed production levels is quite enormous, especially in maize production. Maize production might continue to reduce drastically if nothing is done about it.
The deficits are 1863 kg, 287 kg, 7 kg, and 721 kg of maize, beans, groundnuts and vegetables. If converted to cash, loss in USD from an acre is $1863.00, $195.16, $1.40 and $80.11 dollars for maize, beans, groundnuts and vegetables, respectively. MEFOSEP tries to reduce this loss by 60% through the following strategy:
- Conducting a random soil test before the beginning of every planting season in order to come up with the relevant fertilizers to be applied, and using the recommended fertilizers to develop a target plan for the community and for each individual household.
- Uploading household target plans and actual reporting tools for each and every household, and training the household on how to access it through MEFOSEP website by use of their personal login codes.
- Training the community on good agricultural practices.
- Conducting monitoring activities.
- Discussing food security findings in a food security dialogue radio programme for the location. The radio dialogue programme will incorporate successful farmers and relevant stakeholders in order to discuss the reporting tool and to come up with a way forward of improving the food security in their county.
- Using the discussions from the radio dialogue on food security and the findings from the analyzed monitoring data to come up with an article for publication.
- Recommending a soil retest and change of fertilizers to a household depending on the change in food production resulting from fluctuation of soil pH due to frequent use of a given fertilizer.
- Redesigning a new target plan for the household and the community by use of new recommended fertilizers and uploading the plans in the website for households to access the information.
- Encouraging the sustainability of food production by use of both solid and liquid manure through farm demonstrations and trainings.
- Establishing a noticeboard that uses the community agricultural information system to update the noticeboard.
Mini Baseline Survey
This was done by selecting 50 households randomly in an area, and it helped to determine the major crops that are grown by the community members and their land allocations.
Preference ranking was used to select the preferred crops and a literature review was done on the variables that need to be planned for and monitored for the purposes of quantifying the indicators in the logical framework and the information displayed in the noticeboard.
Participatory Workshop Planning
The participatory planning was done for the purposes of the community being the owners of the displayed plan on the noticeboard. Information from the literature was used to facilitate the development of a logical framework with the help of the stakeholders.
Develop Baseline Tool
Indicators in the logical framework were used to develop a questionnaire tool.
Conduct Baseline Survey
Only households practicing farming were surveyed. The survey was done by trained CHWs living in the community.
Second Participatory Workshop Planning
This was for the purposes of modifying and integrating the findings from the survey with the already developed plan on the acreage of land ratio.
Monitoring was done by CHW by frequently collecting information for the two seasons using the household monitoring tool, and by updating the notice board.
This will be done through dialogue to identify challenges and to come up with solutions that can help them to solve the food insecurity problem.
Updating the Notice Board
Because of the manual updates required, the noticeboard will be updated after every four months.
At the end of harvest, community members will assemble together in a dialogue meeting so that they can dialogue on the various issues that are hindering them from achieving the set target.
The issues raised as challenges will form part of the modules to be incorporated in the training curriculum.
The success of the project will be measured by use of comparative analysis to determine if there is significant difference between the two seasons. Use of a productivity index table will allow us to check the response of the harvest as a function of the quantity of inputs for each every season.
Success will also be determined by checking on the rate of increase in production versus the rate of application of inputs. Check on the discussion part of our published article.
Of the USD $5000, USD $3500 will be used to upgrade the manual noticeboard to an electronic board that can be updated automatically, while USD $150 will be used to conduct random soil test analyses.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Samuel Odindo (Kisumu, Kenya) – info[at]mefosep.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
This post is published as proposal #246 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.
The first selection of the winners will be based on the number of comments, likes and views each proposal gets.
As a reader, you can support this speaker’s entry:
- Leave a comment (question, suggestion,..) on this project in the comment field at the bottom of this page
- Support the post by clicking the “Like” button below (only possible for those with a WordPress.com account)
- Spread this post via your social media channels, using the hashtag: #GCARD3
Have a look at the other “YAP” proposals too!
As a donor, support young agripreneurs and sponsor this unique project. Check out the side column for our current sponsors.
“YAP” is part of the #GCARD3 process, the third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development.