Report from Kitale.
Today is a research planning day.
Yesterday we visited agroforestry farmers in the Kiminini area, located around 10 km from Kitale. The farms avaerage on 3 ha of land. They produce coffee, avocado, maize, bananas as head enterprise of the farm.
One of the farms has a plant nursery who produces around 30 000 seedlings. The major problem is the water. They need around 400 l per day to continue produce these seedlings. To get the water they need to take it from the river 10 km far away. The well previously used is now dry and will be for the nearest weeks.
One of the farmers we visited is famous among agroforestry farmers in the area. His farm was very impressive and produced timber, firewood, honey, bananas, maize, milk and he even have two very big pigs. He can also make money as a agroforestry teacher for other farmers and even take a small fee when people visit his farm. He told us that agroforestry had changed his life from a poor maize farmer to a prosperous man who can by food every day and pay his children’s school.
From what I have seen so far I can conclude that agroforestry is a successful production system. When I have compared fields with maize and agroforestry field, there is a big difference. Agroforsestry farms are greener and seem to have a better soil condition.
There is another project going on in Kitale comparing soil in different production systems. We hope that the reports from the two projects will make it easier to argue the benefit of agroforestry.