How the project works
The teaching of farmers is broken down into what are known as 'Farmers Field Schools' (FFS). Each farmer is subsidised by the Maseno Trust for a period of 3 years on a decreasing scale at the end of which each farmer is equipped with the knowledge and experience to be completely self-sufficient.
- has around 35 local farmers most of whom own their own land where they put into practice the techniques taught on the FFS.
- is taught sound agricultural techniques on a weekly basis lead by Professor in Agronomy Dr Apollo Orodho. They are also encouraged to teach one another on a peer to peer basis.
- has a ‘Demonstration Plot’ where each school is able to grow crops, under controlled conditions. The ‘students’ measure and gauge the results, thereby giving practical examples of crop growth and success or failure in differing techniques.
- elects a Chairman and a Treasurer from their peers to help represent and govern the group.
- has a Facilitator who has excelled at a previous FFS to encourage, guide and be a consultant to each farmer.
- encourages each farmer to share their information with neighbours and friends.
- is taught discipleship and good lifestyle practices based on Biblical principles. These include the sanctity of marriage, community spirit, generosity, health issues and sustainability.
21 FFS have successfully completed their 3 years of subsidies and almost all of them have exceeded our expectations and continue to meet, having also formed government recognised Community Based Organisations. Some are now working together to grow and market cash crops cooperatively – a first for this region.
There are currently 38 FFS schools in the Maseno area involving over 1400 farmers. These are based in 10 parishes and 3 deaneries. The project now covers an area of approximately 140 square kilometers .