Setting up a Feeding Program for the students

Status: Just started
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As the learning centre works with children from poor families the centre has found a feeding program necessary to draw attention of these children to school.Many of these children have no food in their homes making it hard for them to carry on with learning on empty stomachs.This has discouraged some of them to go on to fend food rather than keeping at school.

Although a feeding program is one of the expensive exercise to manage but we can think of the best way to sustain it.The local representative has found it good if a maize grinding mill can be purchased by neighbours and it can serve the purpose of grinding maize locally for the school and serving the area residents who will come to grind their maize on payment.Since maize flour is the staple food in Kenya this can be an income generating activity which can sustain the feeding program and save neighbours from such a recurring exercise.This can demand Kshs 200,000 and it can serve the feeding program very well

Hi Neighbours,
Long rains have now started in Kenya and this sets every farmer to be out on the field.We are not an exceptional as maize farming is what we are having on our action plan.We have done the ploughing and now we are opting to move on to the next step which is planting.As you could be aware,we are planting a 3 acre piece of land.This is going to cost us up to K-shillings 80,500 or more.This is due to inflation on prices for farm inputs in Kenya.With the money that we have received from an anonymous donor,We are trying to manage it in an economical way but we are still worried whether it will suffice in this venture.For us to get the best harvest we have to be ready to curb against any eventuality that may arise.We have to start planting at the earliest time which is likely to be in early April which will closely follow with weeding and the process will continue like that.As said earlier,we still need financial support to bring this exercise to the best result.Your donation towards this maize project will be highly appreciated in the sense that it will make a change to the children at Patmos Junior school.This is the time.
Best wishes to you all,
Richard.

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Richard, I thought I told you about Ken's no till farming months ago? I am really surprised that NO ONE to my knowledge has ever tried his proven farming technique! It is very saddening. You have already plowed, so it's too late for this first crop but, maybe you can try it when the maize has grown and you just cut it back? Instead of grinding the stalks with the corn, it is possible to sell the husks to pig farmers?

Ginger

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Hi Virginia,
Ken's technigues are quite unique here in Kenya.I need good knowledge on how to go about it before I practice it.Ken sent me some lectures on the CD unfortunately it has been hard for me to read since I use internet cafes for my browsing,again many of them do not have CD servers.In Kenya and especially this maize growing region,The common livestock farming done is diary cattle.There are no pigs as it is in Uganda.Although I am not sure if we can find market for the maize stalks as they tend to be in plenty during harvesting,I will find out about it.When i get good knowledge about Ken's techniques,then we are going to apply it in the next planting.We hope maize growing will continue and we are trying to find ways of reducing costs which I know Ken's methods aims at that.I will keep you up dated on this.
Best Wishes,
Richard.

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Richard -

You might try contacting Rachel at Backpack Farm. They operate in Kenya and use the drip-irrigation method that Ken is always talking about. She might be able to arrange for you to visit a project site to learn more about how to do it.

See here to learn more about what they do: http://www.backpackfarm.com/index

Jennifer

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Hi Jennifer,
Thanks,I will try to contact her after going through their website.We hope this will help us in the next planting season.
Richard.

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Hi everyone,
Vacations have ushered in an opportunity for us to carry out the planting work on the maize farm.Planting has now been done and soon weeding will commence.We have managed to inter crop maize and beans hoping that if all do well then it will boost our yields.We give much thanks to the volunteer who has brought this initiative to this far.Our expectations are very high on this venture and this is going to solve the major task on feeding program.We are hoping that come next year,children will constantly have lunch at school and this will motivate them more to incline their minds to real studies.
On the list of tasks given,our neighbours are trying to come up with solutions and so far they are almost tackling the major one being a school feeding program.Thanks to them.I should also say that the burden of school supplies is being handled by our volunteers and this has eased poor an unable parents from meeting this cost.I should give a lot of thanks to this volunteer.We are now left with the problem of school uniform and shoes.We hope this will be another aspect that volunteers will have an idea about as many children come to school bare footed and putting on rags which put them to public shame especially the grown up ones
Below are photos on the planting mission and end of term day where parents came for to attend the parents, teachers meeting.I will put more information on in the news tab,as that is all for now.
fair well,
Richard.

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I just read the postings on this page.

Stalks and husks have absolutely no food value for animals. 0 and 0 food. Please do not feed them but leave them on the land to increase the organic matter in the soil.

Richard, please do not wait until you have a perfect knowledge of how to do it. JUST DO IT! Learn by doing.

Build a Demonstration Bed

Healthy soil produces healthy plants, with high yields and prevents most disease, pest, weed and erosion problems.

This bed will demonstrate to people that this really works.
1. Mark off a bed 2 meters wide and 5 meters long. Can be any width or length.
2. Do not dig or till the bed. Cut down any weeds, etc and leave on top of the soil.
3. Plant a green manure/cover crop [seed are available in every country] in the bed. Irrigate using a drip line[s] if it is the dry season. I will tell you how to make the dripline out of poly tubing and a plastic pail. Dripline is 100 feet and irrigates one row of vegetables using 40 liters of water every other day. Cost in Nicaragua was US$3. Can be moved to another row of vegetables.
4. Let the gm/cc grow until time to plant a food crop. Cut the gm/cc down level with the soil, so it dies, and leave it on top of the soil.
5. Open up rows [4?] in which to plant a crop [maize?] or clear small areas [6 inches round] to plant agusi, tomatoes, cassava and/or squash, etc.
6. Harvest. Leave plants on top of the soil.
7. Do not dig or till.
8. Mulch the soil with dead grass, leaves or any organic material.

Another way is to plant maize and when it is 300 to 400 cm tall, plant Mucuna [or other gm/cc such as Lablab, etc] between the maize plants. When the maize is harvested, leave the stalks standing. The Mucuna will grow and climb up the maize stalks and cover the ground. When it is time to plant the next crop, cut the Mucuna off at the ground and leave on the soil. Plant the next crop in the Mucuna.

This demonstration bed will prove to everybody that this works. No hoeing, no digging, no tilling!

I will help every step of the way. All you have to do is email me.

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Thanks Jennifer - we also have a supplier in Nairobi where I have gotten the drip system for several farmers in Jinja, Uganda - I am awaiting to hear how they are doing. The basic system for 2-4 rows is only $20 USD - for Richard's farm it might be $100 - and a good deal easier than hand watering.

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Ginger

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Hi Ken,
I am getting to understand what your illustration is.It tells me that there will be no weeding and use of artificial fertilizers .This is very economical.I will start off with growing beans in July while I will prepare adequetly to apply this method when growing maize in the next season.I will get in touch with you whenever I need clarification.
Richard.

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KEEP UP the good work Richard, i was able to visit your farm during this school holiday, your farm is ready and what you are doing is commendable, As kilele, we are hoping to buy some of your farm proceed for our feeding program in school.
the main challenge however, is the delay in the rains and the kind of seed the government is releasing in the market.

Are you aware that currently the seeds suitable for your area are out of stock? something to ponder.
-- John Keya

www.kilelejuniorschool.yolasite.com
KILELE JUNIOR FOUNDATION

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Hi John,
We have already planted with the right variety of seeds and there is no worry a bout that.I think what the gorvernment is trying to do is to put long term seeds at bay so that farmers can be encouraged to plant the short term variety.The rains are now on and we know that is going to help.We are starting the first weeding soon.We hope that all will be well.
Regards,
Richard.

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Hi every one,
A 3 acre land has been rented in Westren part of Kenya which is known to be the major maize producing region of our coutry.The maize farm is found in a place called "Turbo" about 50 kilometres north west of Eldoret town.The land has been rented , ploughed and planted with maize and beans.This is the Expenditure report up to date.

1. Land rent Kshs 18,000
2. Ploughing Kshs 9,000
3. Maize seeds Kshs 7,500
4. Beans seeds Kshs 2,700
5. Fertilizers Kshs 12,000
6. Planting Kshs 3,000
Total Kshs 52,200

What the next steps are:
- 1st weeding takes place in early May.
- 2nd weeding and top dressing takes place in early June.
Thanks a lot to our volunteers who have played key roles to this, in this initiative
God bless you all,
Richard.

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Had you gone organic, no-till, you would have saved KS$21,000. Yield would be the same and next year will be higher.

Total cost is KS$52,000. If you have average yield on those three acres, what will be the total amount of maize produced. What will be the probable price of the maize at harvest?

Ken

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Ken,
True, we are getting concerned with reducing the cost.As you are making us to know about organic no-till we hope this will be the method we shall adopt to in the next operations although it is not commonly applied here we shall try it.I know you will keep in touch with us so that we come up with the best results.
Richard.

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True. You do what they do and you get the same results. There are farmers there doing it but I know of a way to find them. No one promotes it as they cannot make profits off anyone telling them not to buy anything from anybody except seed.
Ken

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