Agricultural Training and Resources
Seiyo is a rural area where many people have land. It is a valuable resource of only they had the money, and in some cases the knowledge, how to cultivate it. Bitter family feuds and tribal conflicts have denied some families of their rights and while these battles continued, the land became neglected and unproductive. Weeds and binding grasses have claimed much of the land, making it impossible to dig manually, but hiring a tractor to break it up and plough is out of the question for the families we work with.
For families who have been able to keep their land productive, the ground has become tired of feeding maize!! This is the staple diet of the Kenyans in this area and also of their animals, whose feeding often seems to be more important than feeding the children!! It is a major headache for Abigail Ministries to try and persuade the people to vary their crops and to feed their children before feeding their animals!!!
In 2010 Abigail Ministries transported representatives of a few families over to Nairobi for training in farm management. They were given expert advice on crop rotation, natural fertilisation of the earth etc and given a supply of sturdy tools and healthy seeds to help them make their farms more productive. It was explained to them in great detail how the seeds they were given would grow into vegetables and fruit that would not only help keep their ground healthy but would also provide nutrients to help improve the health of the whole family. There was also a session on how to use relevant plants for natural medicinal purposes, a very important part of the training as most of these people cannot afford to buy even the most basic medicines from the hospitals.
The families involved were provided with necessary tools and implements to look after the pieces of land.
Unfortunately, Kenya suffered a severe drought during the following months so these folks did not see the initial benefits, but we still hope it will be of great benefit longer term.
In 2014 Shena ran a Nutrition Awareness course for 24 ladies who have pieces of land. Through that exercise which was intended to have the ladies diversify their crops they found to their amazement that the crop most grow year in year our i.e. maize – is the least nutritious of all the crops. Maize does however have one credit in that it does have the effect of the people feeling full after eating!
Since that time most have produced good crops and learned to keep some seeds back for the next years crops. Abigail Ministries does give a small top up after times of drought or crop disease as they have no insurance!