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by Marian Amaka Odenigbo & Wanessa Marques Silva

Participants responding to the nutrition related questions during the round of quiz.
On 23 May 2017, the IFAD's Nutrition Team organized a breakout session on mainstreaming nutrition in IFAD financed projects. This dedicated session on nutrition took place during the IFAD’s East and Southern Africa (ESA) Regional Implementation Workshop (RIW) in Kampala, Uganda. The RIW presented a great opportunity to reach out and engage with project teams, country office colleagues and other stakeholders on the conversations on nutrition mainstreaming in IFAD operations. The nutrition session was jointly planned with the Rome based Agencies (RBAs) colleagues, and built on several consultative discussions to accelerate nutrition awareness in operations at country level.

Raising awareness on nutrition

In setting the scene on nutrition awareness and sensitization, participants had a round of virtual quiz to stimulate the discussion on nutrition mainstreaming. Analysis of the quiz exercise showed that most of the participants are aware of the implications of malnutrition to the wellbeing of people and national economy. Interestingly, this exercise exposed that the relation between gender and nutrition is still blurry to many respondents. This is a subject that should be explored further especially during workshops and trainings on nutrition-sensitive agriculture.

Experiences on nutrition mainstreaming

Good practices on nutrition mainstreaming within IFAD-funded operations were presented. Nutrition focal points from IFAD funded projects in Burundi (Aloïs Hakizimana), Malawi (Manuel Mang'anya), Mozambique (Jeronimo Francisco) and Zambia (Martin Lyiwalii) shared their respective country experiences, which consisted of various innovative nutrition activities and different approaches for mainstreaming nutrition. The varied approaches include:
  • Access to microcredit through women groups; 
  • Adoption of local and traditional food to tackle malnutrition; 
  • Promotion of diversified food production and consumption; 
  • Training local promoters on nutrition, food preparation demonstration with active participation of the beneficiaries; 
  • Radio messages, songs and farmers hotline on good nutrition and improved family diet along with income generation of small producers. 
Taking advantage of the presence of significant members of the IFAD-funded projects teams during this session, the key messages of the ESA study: “Mapping of Nutrition-Sensitive Interventions in East and Southern Africa" was disseminated to participants. This study provided insights on the variety of nutrition-sensitive actions being implemented in ESA's portfolio and identified gaps and opportunities for effective nutrition mainstreaming.

Dissemination of FAO Toolkits on nutrition-sensitive agriculture

This session provided the space to learn and disseminate the available resources for agriculture-nutrition projects. Militezegga Mustapha, a colleague from FAO made a presentation that illustrated the need for combined efforts of agriculture, social protection, nutrition education and adequate care practices. She stressed that nutrition is linked to the entire food system including: 1) food production, 2) food handling, storage, 3) food trade and marketing and 4) consumer demand, food preparation and preferences. FAO Toolkit and eLearning modules for nutrition-sensitive programming were discussed and the hard copies of resource materials were distributed to participants. 

RBAs collaboration for nutrition at country level

Tantely Randrianasolo, M&E Manager, and Maria Fernanda Arraes De Souza, Programme Coordinator, from Madagascar and Mozambique, respectively, shared their experiences of successful RBAs collaboration on integrating nutrition in agriculture and rural development investments. Tantely narrated how the joint efforts in AINA programme in Madagascar implemented in collaboration with FAO, WFP and IFAD have addressed various elements of the integrated pathway to nutrition (awareness raising, training, tools, storage facilities, scaling up of experiences). The collaboration has brought significant improvements in dietary intake as well as physical infrastructure and social issues such as school attendance.

On the other hand, Arraes De Souza shared the Mozambique experiences where additional nutrition components were incorporated to the already ongoing projects. The RBAs collaboration in Mozambique is using different entry points i.e. nutrition awareness with leaders, training with women groups in complementing each other’s interventions for optimization of nutrition outcomes.

Furthermore, this forum provided the opportunity to reach out to the project team on the other RBAs collaboration initiatives on nutrition, such as the Nutrition-Sensitive Value Chains (NSVC) and the Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) Resource Frameworks.

Indeed, this dedicated breakout session was well appreciated by participants and was followed up by several group and bilateral conversations on specific needs and way forward to accelerate nutrition mainstreaming at project and country levels. This type of outreach is essential to increase awareness and engage with project teams on nutrition in IFAD operations.

By Tiffany Minjauw

©Tiffany Minjauw 

The International Fund for Agricultural Development's (IFAD) East and Southern Africa Division (ESA) , the IFAD funded Smallholder Market-led Project (SMLP), and the Microfinance Unit (MFU) in Swaziland jointly organised and facilitated a sub-regional monitoring and evaluation (M&E) workshop for ongoing IFAD funded projects in Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, and Swaziland.

The workshop brought together staff (mainly M&E officers and Knowledge Management officers) from the Project Implementation Units. The objective of this workshop was to strengthen the planning, monitoring, evaluation and knowledge management functions of IFAD operations in the five countries by strengthening the technical understanding of the key concepts and by sharing experiences (good practices and challenges).

Held in Manzini from the 17-19 May 2017, the workshop provided theoretical and conceptual guidance, emphasizing real country level good practices. Clarifications were provided on the different monitoring and assessment mechanisms in place for different sources of funding, namely the Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
©Tiffany Minjauw 

The interactive nature of the workshop generated rich discussions and insights into methods to overcome challenges and achieve effective monitoring and evaluation.

By the end of the workshop, the 30 participants had a better understanding of the use of the Log Frame, of the measurement of outputs and impacts, and of the principles of the Results and Impact Management System (RIMS) and how to link it to the project M&E system.

"This is the first time that we have had specific training on M&E and K&M. Consultants provide support during implementation missions but it is never as in-depth as what we experienced here" - Rural Livelihoods and Economic Enhancement Programme (RLEEP) in Malawi.

"We like that IFAD, unlike many international organisations, is paying great attention to M&E. We hope that more workshops like this one will be organised periodically in the future" - Smallholder Agriculture Development Project (SADP) in Lesotho.

Connecting with Nature: Should we eat insects?

Posted by Francesca Aloisio Monday, June 5, 2017 0 comments

By Christopher Neglia

The theme of this year’s World Environment Day is Connecting with Nature. In this context, entomophagy, or the practice of eating insects, is a topic that bears consideration, owing to its prospects for food and nutrition security.

Entomophagy is well documented in history, and at one time it was extremely widespread. The first reference to entomophagy in Europe was in Greece, when eating cicadas was considered a delicacy. Aristotle wrote in his Historia Animalium “The larva of the cicada on attaining full size in the ground becomes a nymph; then it tastes best, before the husk is broken.”

For centuries, people have consumed insects. From beetles, to caterpillars, locusts, grasshoppers, termites and dragonflies. Which raises the question: why is the notion of eating insects so taboo in Westernized societies? People in most Western countries have formed a moral judgement against eating insects, which it can be said is perceived with disgust. But it is important to realise that the origins of disgust are rooted in culture. Culture, under the influence of environment, history, community structure and politico-economic systems, define the rules on what is edible and what is not (Mela, 1999).

A worldwide inventory conducted by Wagenheim University found there are about 1,900 edible insect species, and insects form a large part of everyday diets for more than two billion people around the world. For example, red maguey worms, are a highly nutritious variety of caterpillar considered a delicacy by Mexican farmers. They are generally eaten deep fried or braised, seasoned with spicy sauce and served in a tortilla (Ramos Elorduey et al., 2007). In Cambodia, a species of tarantula, Haplopelma albostriatum, is typically served fried and sold in street stalls (Yen, Hanboonsong and van Huis, 2013). This goes to show that in most countries, insect consumption is a matter of choice, not necessity, and insects are a part of local culture.

From a nutritional perspective, insects represent a huge untapped source of protein, energy rich fat, fiber and micronutrients like vitamins and minerals. Edible insects are rich sources of iron and their inclusion in daily diets could improve iron status and help prevent anaemia in developing countries. WHO has flagged iron deficiency as the world’s most common and widespread nutritional disorder (Anaemia is a preventable deficiency but contributes to 20 percent of all maternal deaths).

Gathering and harvesting insects can offer unique employment and income-earning opportunities in developing countries, particularly for the rural poor. In many cases, insect cultivation can serve as a livelihood diversification strategy. For example, silkworms and bees can be harvested for food and fiber. In Thailand, middlemen buy insects from farmers to sell as food to wholesale buyers, who then distribute the products to street vendors and retailers.

When you add up all the benefits, it becomes mystifying why insects don’t make up an integral part of our diets. Perhaps it is time to reconsider our culinary customs and try to reconnect with this abundant, yet neglected, food source.

El mítico campesino

Posted by Francesca Aloisio Wednesday, May 17, 2017 0 comments

Tomás Ricardo Rosada Villamar 

Hace unas semanas viajé a México. Antes de ir al aeropuerto para volver a casa pasé por CEPAL y un buen amigo y colega me mostró un libro que recién había recibido: Peasant poverty and persistence in the 21st century: theories, debates, realities and policies. Me dijo “dale una hojeada, te va a interesar”, y si querés te consigo una copia. En realidad terminó prestándome la suya. Haciendo escala en Frankfurt le mando un Whatsapp y le digo “¡este libro es un bombazo!”. De allí en adelante nos dimos a la tarea de organizar un conversatorio con uno de los autores, Julio Boltvinik.

No conocía personalmente a Boltvinik, pero su nombre y sus ideas me eran familiares desde el año 2002 cuando la red de las universidades jesuitas de América Latina (AUSJAL) decidió diseñar e impartir el primer curso continental sobre pobreza. Mente aguda y muy comprometida con el tema, que habla transmitiendo pasión y sentido de urgencia.

La publicación trata de dar respuesta a dos preguntas: ¿por qué todavía hay campesinos en el mundo? y ¿por qué son pobres? De hecho, haciendo referencia al Reporte de Pobreza Rural 2011 del FIDA, el cual estima en aproximadamente en mil millones el número de personas pobres que viven en el medio rural, sugiere que las metodologías utilizadas para la medición de la pobreza subestiman el fenómeno.

Desde allí quedé enganchado y a medida que avanzaba pensaba en la enorme necesidad que tenemos de hablar de pobreza y campesinos. Pensaba en América Latina, región dizque mayoritariamente urbana, con niveles de pobreza que se han estancado en los últimos años, y con grandes, enormes, deficiencias en las instituciones que atienden la agricultura y a las personas que habitan el espacio rural. Pensaba en esos países donde casi se ha maldecido la palabra campesino, y la ha arrinconado en la esquina de términos peyorativos y politizados, que despiertan reacciones tan viscerales como irracionales.

¡Bien que nos caería reabrir esa conversación! Darle contenido y tratar de entender a ese sujeto tan vilipendiado como mitificado. Sujeto que ha quedado enterrado bajo eso que podríamos llamar los silencios de la ruralidad: el silencio narrativo, pues sabemos de sobra que la manera más efectiva de restarle importancia a algo es ignorarlo, dejar de hablar de ello, dejar de generar estadísticas y medirlo, hacer como que no existe. Y el silencio institucional, que siempre es el espejo operacional de una narrativa, de un discurso político y social que ignora y mira convenientemente hacia otra parte.

La tesis central de la publicación gravita alrededor de la estacionalidad agrícola y las consecuencias que tiene sobre las condiciones de vida del campesino. Es decir, el ciclo de un cultivo, que solamente demanda trabajo por una parte del año, obligándolo a buscar formas de generar ingresos complementarios en otras actividades. Y de la manera en que lo logra se derivan explicaciones de su pobreza pero también de su supervivencia a lo largo del tiempo, a lo largo de la historia. Se trata entonces de entender y proponer formas para resolver la aparente contradicción entre la lógica del mercado, que tiende a organizarse en formas de producción homogéneas y continuas, y las formas de vida del campesino, que son diversas por naturaleza.

Como bien lo describe Armando Bartra, otro de los autores del libro, “(…) los mesoamericanos no sembramos maíz, creamos milpas. Son cosas diferentes. El maíz es una planta y la milpa un estilo de vida. El maíz plantado solo es algo monótono, mientras que la milpa es variedad: en ella, el maíz, los frijoles, los guisantes, las habas, la calabaza, el chile, las peras vegetales, los tomates silvestres, el amaranto, los árboles frutales, el nopal, y la variada fauna que los acompaña, todos se entremezclan. (...) Ellos en climas fríos producen sus alimentos en plantaciones homogéneas mientras que nosotros, cuando nos dejan continuar nuestra vocación agroecológica, lo cosechamos en jardines barrocos.”

En tiempos de alta volatilidad climática y económica es muy importante recuperar perspectiva en la comprensión del campesino, sus formas de vida y su papel en el desarrollo. No hacerlo es seguir insistiendo en un relato incompleto, que ignora o esconde la realidad de una parte importante de Latinoamericana: pobre, rural, y muy desigual.

The mythical peasant

Posted by Francesca Aloisio 0 comments

By Tomás Ricardo Rosada Villamar, Regional Economist in the Latina America and the Caribbean Division at IFAD

A few weeks ago I travelled to Mexico. Before going to the airport to return home, I visited the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) where a good friend and colleague of mine showed me a book he had just received: Peasant poverty and persistence in the 21st century: theories, debates, realities and policies. “Take a look, it's going to interest you, and I'll get you a copy if you would like one,” he said. He actually ended up lending me his copy. I sent him a message on Whatsapp during my layover in Frankfurt and said, “this book is incredible!” We immediately began to organize a discussion with one of the authors, Julio Boltvinik.

I did not know Mr. Boltvinik personally, but his name and ideas have been familiar to me since 2002 when the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AUSJAL) decided to design and offer the first continental course on poverty. Mr. Boltvinik has a keen mind and is very committed to the subject, which speaks of his passion and sense of urgency.

In his book, he attempts to answer two questions: why are there still peasants in the world, and why are they poor. In fact, referring to IFAD's Rural Poverty Report 2011 -- which estimates the number of poor people living in rural areas at around one billion -- the author suggests that the methodologies used to measure poverty underestimate the phenomenon.

I was hooked from that moment and, as I went on, I thought about how important it is for us to talk about poverty and peasants. I was thinking of Latin America, a region that is supposedly mostly urban, with levels of poverty that have stagnated in recent years and with extremely weak institutions serving agriculture and people living in rural areas. I thought of those countries where the word campesino, like “peasant” in English, has been relegated to the list of derogatory and politicized terms that meet with visceral and irrational reactions, if it has not been banned completely.

How beneficial it could be to reopen that discussion! We should analyse and try to understand the reality of this figure that has been both vilified and mythologized, a figure that has been buried under what we could call the silence of rurality: a narrative silence, because we know full well that the most effective way to downplay something is to ignore it, to stop talking about it, to stop generating statistics or measuring it, and to act as if it does not exist. And then there is the institutional silence, which is the operational equivalent to the narrative silence, a political and social discourse that also ignores it and turns a blind eye.

The central thesis of this publication centres around the seasonality of agricultural activities and its consequences for peasants’ living conditions; in other words, a crop cycle that only requires work for a part of the year and, thus, forces peasants to look for ways to generate a complementary income in other activities. The strategies used to achieve this provide some explanations of both their poverty and their survival over time. It then becomes a question of understanding and proposing ways to solve the apparent contradiction between the logic of the market, which tends to be organized in homogeneous and continuous forms of production, and the peasant's way of life, which is diverse by nature.

As described by Armando Bartra, another of the book’s authors “(...) Mesoamericans do not sow corn, we create milpas. These are different things because maize is a plant and the milpa, a lifestyle: the milpa is the matrix of Mesoamerican civilization. Planted alone, maize is monotony, while the milpa is variety: in it, maize, beans, peas, broad beans, squash, chilli, vegetable pears, wild tomatoes, amaranth, fruit trees, nopal, century plants and the varied fauna that accompany them all intermingle. (...) In cold climates they produce their food in homogeneous plantations whereas we, when they allow us to continue our agro-ecological vocation, harvest them in baroque gardens.”

In times of high climatic and economic volatility, it is very important to regain a perspective on the peasants' understanding, their way of life and their role in development. Failing to do so means continuing to insist on an incomplete narrative that ignores or hides the reality of an important side of Latin America: poor, rural and very unequal. ​

Follow the book presentation on 1 June from 14:00 to 17:30 (Rome time).

By Vivienne Likhanga and IFAD Sudan Country Office  

From the design to the implementation of the Innovation Plan presented during the learning route on “Innovative Livestock Marketing from Northern to Eastern Africa”, held in Kenya in March 2012.

Some of the participants from the LR on Livestock Marketing that was held in Kenya in March 2012
Five years ago a group of 22 participants from 6 countries (Sudan, Somalia, Madagascar, Ethiopia, the USA and Europe) gathered to learn about access to markets and to identify value chain upgrading opportunities in the livestock sector. They did this through the Learning Route: Innovative Livestock Marketing from Northern to Eastern Africa. The learning route that took place between the 28th of February and 10th of March 2012, was piloted in Kenya with the collaboration of the International Fund of Agricultural Development (IFAD)’s Near East, North Africa and Europe (NEN) Division and the technical support of the Policy and Technical Advisory Division (PTA) with a view of reducing knowledge gaps on livestock marketing systems and management.

Innovation Plan follow-up and update

Five years after the 2012 learning route, its benefit is visible, particularly in one of the IFAD funded project in Sudan: the Butana Integrated Rural Development Project (BIRDP) that now is ready and well prepared to implement the Tamboul Slaughterhouse Innovation Plan as designed by the BIRDP participants who took part in the Learning Route on Livestock Marketing in Kenya (2012). This Innovation Plan was particularly drawn from the best practices at the Keekonyokie Slaughterhouse in Kiserian, Kenya.

Unfortunately, the implementation of the ambitious slaughterhouse plan as designed by BIRDP participants who participated in the learning route on livestock marketing in Kenya (2012) lagged behind due to difficulties in adequate involvement of the private actors (formal and informal butchers), commitment of the relevant administrative unit not fulfilled and time constraints as effective facilitation requires time, consistency and skills.

As part of the follow-up activities foreseen in the Learning Route, it was decided to hold a learning activity in Kiserian and Amboseli, Kenya, in which selected participants and key stakeholders of the BIRDP Tamboul Slaughterhouse project would share their opportunities and constraints with implementing their Innovation Plan, as well as get further insights on the improvement and potential partnerships for the implementation of their Innovation Plans. The learning activity was held between the 29th January and 3rd February 2017 in Kenya. 
Participants begin their learning activity journey at the Keekonyokie Slaughterhouse office in Kiserian, Kenya

The 10 visiting participants came from different sectors building a team of 3 government officials, 4 staff members of the BIRDP and 3 from the private sector (butchers).

The specific objectives of the follow up learning activity were as follows:
  1. Reflect on the February 2012 Learning Route visit to Keekonyokie slaughterhouse (achievements, lessons learnt and experiences);
  2. Identify key knowledge needs of the BIRDP team based on the lessons learnt during implementation of the IPs in order to align the learning process with these needs;
  3. Facilitate practical learning sessions using the Keekonyokie and Mbirikani Slaughterhouses to address the knowledge needs; and to
  4. Develop Innovation Plans and practical action plans following the learning.
A participatory approach in collaboration with IFAD BIRDP project was applied in the planning and implementation of the follow up learning activity with enhanced involvement of the participants. A team of local champions were identified in the two case studies (Keekonyokie Slaughterhouse in Kiserian and the Mbirikani Slaughterhouse in Amboseli) and sensitized on the concept and learning objectives of the activity. In each of the slaughterhouses, selected champions presented different operational areas of a slaughterhouse. Key actors in the meat value chain facilitated discussions between the hosts and the visiting team. A mix of technical experiences and knowledge management practices responded to the knowledge needs of the visiting participants.
Participants at the livestock market learning about the Livestock value chain
The learning activity involved two main knowledge approaches: first, a visit to the slaughterhouses to see and learn first-hand about all operational activities from the main actors through step by step guidance. The second approach interactive plenary discussions between the local champions, technical experts and the visiting team, thus a nearly non-stop learning activity with intensive 3 field based learning days and a wrap up meeting on the 4th day.

On the first two days of the learning activity the participants visited the Keekonyokie slaughterhouse in Kiserian, to observe the practical operations of the slaughterhouse during the peak period of operations. They also studied the physical infrastructure and the drainage system of the slaughterhouse during its off-peak sessions. The participants held interviews with some of the actors in the market system including pastoralists, meat traders, live animal traders, slaughterhouse supervisors and biogas plan operators. Follow up workshops sessions brought together the local champions from Keekonyokie slaughterhouse, the technical experts and the visiting team from Sudan for closing some knowledge gaps in a question and answer session. The participants had an opportunity to elaborate the entire market system and how it operated.

The Keekonyokie Slaughterhouse is a private company owned by 16 shareholders who elect 7 board members every year. The board members include the chairman, the secretary, treasurer, managing director, supervisor, biogas departmental head and slaughterhouse departmental head. The Company has by laws that are used to govern the company

The business model applied in the Keekonyokie slaughterhouse involves the provision of a slaughter facility and all the associated slaughter services to traders who supply meat to the Nairobi market and its environs. In addition, it has a live animal market where live animal sellers who bring livestock from the pastoral areas of southern rangelands of Kenya and Northern Tanzania meet meat traders who buy live animals, slaughters and markets meet to end users. Other business lines include packaging of biogas for commercial use which is yet to be marketed after government has formulated a policy to guide biogas marketing in Kenya.

On The third day of the learning activity the participants visited the Mbirikani Slaughterhouse in Amboseli. The participants had a guided tour of the slaughterhouse and thereafter discussions with the main actors and experts in order to address their question on the Mbirikani Slaughterhouse market system and value chain. 
Unlike the Keekonyokie Slaughterhouse which is a privately owned company, the Mbirikani slaughterhouse was constructed by the County Government of Kajiado, Kenya and later finished by the African Wildlife Foundation as a support to the Amboseli Livestock Marketing Association (ALMA). ALMA is a community Based Organization that brings together group ranches and women groups in the Amboseli as a structure to enhance market access by the community. The entire facility was set up as a conservation enterprise to help minimize conflicts between wildlife and the pastoralists and develop a sustainable model through which livestock marketing activities are liked to conservation of natural resources. After completion, the slaughterhouse was jointly owned by the community through ALMA and the County Government which necessitated registration of the company called Amboseli Meat Company (AMC) with the county government owning 60% of the shares and ALMA 40%. Through a competitive bidding process, the AMC contracted a private company called Food Tech to manage the company’s operations through a profit sharing arrangement. A comprehensive management contract exists that stipulates the role of each partner in the operations of the business. The profit sharing arrangement involves Food Tech taking 69% of the profit, AMC 30% and 1% of the profit is used for CSR. The company is relatively young and at the start-up phase, hence not much business volumes were reported.

The company is implementing two business models. In the first model the company buys live animals from the Groups affiliated to ALMA slaughters and markets the meat. In the second model, the company undertakes contract slaughtering i.e. getting a contract to slaughter for a client at a fee of KES 1,100 per cow.

Key taken-home lessons by the participants

There were several lessons learnt by the participants among them the following:

  • Private sector players are important anchors in a livestock market system: Public, private, producer / community Partnerships 
  • The informal sector can regulate itself however there is the usefulness of engagement with governments for favourable operating environment 
  • Technology and Innovation in waste management through the production of biogas and fertilizers 
  • The importance of proper sewerage system and an in-house source of constant water supply 
  • Drought mitigation strategies 
  • Gender Inclusion in Livestock marketing 
  • Linking livestock production and marketing with conservation 
  • Proximity to consumer markets 
  • The operational costs and risks of holding Inventory 
The participants’ main interest of importance in the Mbirikani slaughterhouse case study was the ownership and management structure of the slaughterhouse and the shareholding and the management of contracts.

The participants observed that the Mbirikani slaughterhouse in Amboseli has a similar background with the Tamboul slaughterhouse where support is coming from the government and a donor. As such the Mbirikani slaughterhouse was a perfect case for the team to learn about private public producer (community) partnership arrangements being used to manage the slaughterhouse, noting that it would be the most appropriate approach that would enhance ownership, sustainability of the Tamboul slaughterhouse while at the same time enhancing livelihoods of different value chain actors. The Mbirikani slaughterhouse also presented knowledge on gender integration in the meat value chain. The slaughterhouse provides opportunities for women by allowing them to use slaughterhouse by-products (bones, hides, skins and horns) to make artefacts for sale, the women are also involved in fodder and fodder seed production and in livestock trade. The ALMA promotes their businesses through market access and they also gave them an opportunity to run a food canteen and money transfer facility at the slaughterhouse which supplements the women’s income and livelihood.

As a way forward for the Tamboul slaughterhouse, the participants agreed to consult further with the key stakeholders of the Tamboul Slaughterhouse in order to determine what would be the appropriate ownership and management structure. As observed, what drives the business of the Keekonyokie Slaughterhouse though privately owned, is that it is fully owned by the community of pastoralists (live animal traders and meat traders) in Southern Kenya and Northern Kenya. The participants noted that it was important to apply a public-private producer partnership model that would enhance the sustainability of the Tamboul slaughterhouse while at the same time ensuring that mechanisms are put in place for community ownership. 
Certificate Presentation at the end of the learning activity
For more information on the innovation plans implemented and the learning materials from the activity, kindly visit Procasur website.

Vaiea Little Farmers

Posted by Francesca Aloisio Thursday, May 11, 2017 0 comments

Nadia with her children in the little farmyard
‘Eww! Yucky!’ the kid shrieked, jumping to avoid an earthworm. His friends laughed at him.
Another shriek erupted from a different corner of the garden when a caterpillar was discovered.
These were familiar scenes when Nadia Fomai and the children of Vaiea village on Niue Island began setting up the prettiest of backyard gardens, using recycled materials, compost, and fermented fish blood.
At least three times a week, in the afternoon, they run to the gardens, eager to learn all about plants, the soil and all the creatures that live in it.
‘Now they are fighting over earthworms – that’s mine, that going in my garden in my plot!’ Nadia related.
‘I think I’ve made a change there – because at first they were screaming like someone hurt someone else or stepped on a nail when it was in fact a little tiny worm. But now no one is scared, as they know the importance of earthworms in keeping the soil healthy and helping their vegetable grow well.
Cabbages and lettuces bloomed out of pallet slats. Handheld spades carved out of empty bleach bottles were used to dig small holes for planting.
‘While they learn about organic gardening and being kind to nature and the soil, they are also taking on recycling ideas,’ she added.
Nadia shares with them the difference between organic and chemical farming methods.
“I tell them organic farming is safe because I believe there’s no harmful chemical left in the vegetables at the point of eating,” she said.
The next step of the project, which has been active since May 2016 (e.d.), is applying organic fertilisers and pest control methods.
“I’ve been experimenting with fish blood for fertiliser and it has worked perfectly on my flowers, and will too on the vegetables.” “When the men in the community return from fishing, I offer to clean the fish so I can collect the blood.
“It stinks really badly so I ferment it away from the community. After several days, the smell dies down. It’s worth the effort!”
Nadia’s garden lessons are supported by IFAD through the Capacity Building for Resilient Agriculture in the Pacific Project under its ‘nutritional gardening for families’ activity.
The project is implemented by the Niue Organic Farmers Association and POETCom.
It started with a drab meat dish Nadia was cooking one day.
“There were no vegetables, no variety that is. We only had ‘bele’ and we were eating it all the time,” she said.
“It’s quite expensive to purchase vegetables from the shops so I thought we could start planting other types besides the local variety because Niue has a great climate for planting.”
“I decided to include the little ones so they would know about the importance of having healthy, nutritious meals, and to inspire them to love gardening, getting their hands dirty in growing plants and having a healthy food supply.
“The vegetables they plant they take home and in this way we help families eat healthy, nutritious food.
“It is important that we work with younger children if we want to keep them engaged in farming.’
“My mother taught me to love gardening and I’ve done it all my life. Remember the Bible teaches us to train up a child on the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it!”

This blog was originally posted on POETcom website.