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June 2017

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Located just 50 Km south of Marsabit town on the A2 highway, Loglogo is an arid and semi arid area, albeit with a lot of ground water. The vegetation is predominantly made up of acacia trees and other hardy plants which are suitable for surviving in this harsh climatic conditions. It is therefore a big surprise to find a veritable garden of Eden amidst this all. This is the story of, pastor Elias Kithinji of the Full Gospel Church, and the Ilbarok women’s group who did just that.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][vc_gallery el_id=”gallery-200624″ medias=”385,384,383,389,390,392,393,394,388,387″ gutter_size=”3″ screen_lg=”1000″ screen_md=”600″ screen_sm=”480″ single_overlay_opacity=”50″ single_padding=”2″ title=”Loglogo”][vc_column_text]When did the project Start?

The project started back in 2015 and most of the trees you see around are the same age.

How did you get funding for the  project?

An individual gave us a donation which enabled us to drill a borehole in November 2015. The tanks and pumps for the borehole were funded by FIDA(Finnish Agency) in 2016. Other partners are USAID,Kenya Rapid and the county government of Marsabit who also helped us a lot.

How many greenhouses do you have?

They are actually shade houses and not green houses. They are 5 in number and are much cheaper that green houses. They cost Ksh 130,000 but an improvised one will cost Kes 80,000

What Kind of crops do you grow here?

We grow eggplants, green grams,sorghum,tomatoes,sweet potatoes,spinach,finger millet, moringa,pawpaws and onions.

I noticed that you grow a lot of Moringa(Moringa Olifeira), why is that?

The Moringa  is a very nutritious plant. A superfood, it produces edible leaves that are unusually rich in protein, iron, calcium, nine essential amino acids, and Vitamins A, B, and C. Its seedpods, which are as thick as the meaty part of a drumstick and about a foot long, are also high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Loglogo is a Hot and dry area, precisely the conditions in which the Moringa thrives.

How much produce do you normaly get?

We used to harvest 130kgs of tomatoes every week although they have now been attacked by Tuta Absoluta. We also get a lot of spinach and Moringa. The message we want to send is that even in such an arid area people can feed themselves.

How is the project helping the community around?

The church supports Ilbarok women group who run 3 shade houses and have planted half an acre of Moringa. they were given training in all these which we still plan to further. We also plan to start a fish pond with the women group.

What advice would you give to people who would like to do something similar?

To study the best plants that can survive where they intend to farm and the best practices. I believe we can turn even the driest parts of Marsabit into the Kenya’s bread basket.

June 2019

Fast forward 2 years to  and the community in Loglogo, and elsewhere in Marsabit county, has progressed to processing Moringa leaves and packaging.

A local NGO,Sustainable Agricultural Information Initiative (SAII) , has helped train 5 groups in the growing and processing of Moringa leaves. These groups are Nailengu Milita Women Group,Marti Self-Help Group,Sirata Farmers Group,Dololu Dokatu Farmers Group and Moonlight Self-Help Group.

 

 

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_gallery el_id=”gallery-375699″ medias=”423,422,421″ gutter_size=”3″ screen_lg=”1000″ screen_md=”600″ screen_sm=”480″ single_overlay_opacity=”50″ single_padding=”2″ title=”Moringa Processing”][vc_column_text]Photos Courtesy Barnabas Barmin

 

Nailengu Milita Women Group ,a pioneer group, has more than eight hundred moringa trees grown and currently being harvested. They also have another one thousand eight hundred seedlings being propagated for planting. Nailengu Melita Women Group is the only group that has so far reached value-addition level and has been able to produce more than one hundred 500 grams tins of moringa each going for ksh 300. They’ll also soon get a miller that has a capacity to mill more than two hundred 500 grams tins in a day.

 

Sections of this article first appeared in marsabitimes.com[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][/vc_column][/vc_row]