P4P Farmer Training a Key to Long Term Success
A key to moving from a subsistence farmer, to one who can provide for family and have crops to sell and realize income, is learning new techniques that produce greater yields. P4P’s farmer training program does just that and is seeing amazing results.
The program, called “Farming God’s Way”, (FGW) provides training and support for 20 farmers at a time. Participants are many different ages and situations. Some are couples, like the Masagas, others are single fathers, mothers or widowed older women. All one needs is a desire to learn and work hard. The program teaches sustainable farming methods and includes key components such as proper land preparation, planting techniques, crop rotation, and mulching to preserve rainfall and add nutrients to the soil.
The program involves both classroom and hands-on training. The farmers must commit to the training program and have a portion of their farm plots available to use the new techniques, expanding more each year. As part of the program, each farmer is provided fertilizer and seed to get started. Once the crops are harvested, each farmer returns some maize (corn) to P4P, which is then used in the P4P Power of Milk program.
As part of the program, P4P has a demonstration plot, where farmers can see the techniques in action. The results from the FGW methods are apparent, with significantly improved yields that increase every crop cycle. Farmers who are not enrolled see the improvement in the crops and have been asking to join FGW. At this point, P4P is only able to enroll 20 farmers; we would like to expand the program as funding becomes available.
While in Kenya in February, Stacey and Sandy visited several farmers including Francis who was in the first group of FGW farmers. He is now a lead farmer often sharing his knowledge with other farmers. Sandy commented “It is so exciting to see neighbors helping neighbors. It was remarkable to see how much healthier FGW maize plots were in comparison to conventional farmers.”