Wonder Technology Transforms
Francis Matiti a farmer, 60 years old, member of Kyanika Adult Class, father of two; one boy and one girl aged 10 and 12 years respectively who both school at St. Michael Primary school hails from Kyanika Village, Nzambani ward, Kitui East Sub county in Kitui County. Kyanika Adult Class is comprised of 20 members (Male-4, female-20) and was engaged in the ISPP project in late 2017. The project identified the group needs as: inadequate knowledge on nutrition, low productive capacity, pest and disease incidences, poor access to market and poor water utilization. The project came up with a training module to address the identified challenges.
Francis Matiti and his group have been trained on; use of water use efficient technologies such as zai pits to establish diverse high nutrient vegetables, small livestock management, consumption of diet of minimum diversity, vegetable production and linked to market. Previously, Francis used to establish vegetables by using the conventional methods which were not sustainable during the dry spell. ‘‘Though I used to grow vegetables, they oftenly dried up during the dry spell when demand is high due to inadequate water. Once they dry up, I used to part with kes.770 per month to buy vegetables for the family. My productive capacity on production of vegetables was low hence low yields. This made me despair’’, Laments Francis.
Francis has been linked to Fresh Vegetable Vendors at Kalundu Market who buy his vegetables. ‘‘Part of my vegetables are for home consumption due to their high nutritional value and the surplus for sale. Last month I sold vegetables worthy Kes. 5,200 (Kales-1,600, spinach-800, corriodor-2,800) and this month I anticipate to earn more since the production is increasing’’, says Francis.
The extra income was used to buy poultry feeds for the layers which give the family eggs, a good source of protein. From the trainings on different food groups, preparation, handling and benefits of consuming a diet of minimum diversity Francis ensures that his family feeds on balanced diet always for a healthy living. As a result he says that the frequency of disease outbreak in his family has drastically gone down due to the increased immunity saving on medical cost. ‘‘By next year I will increase the area under vegetables to ½ acre’’, he says.