We are proud to have initiated a successful project that has spread to several farmer groups. It involved providing small livestock such as goats, sheep, pigs and rabbits. The farmers would receive 2 young animals which they were to take care of until they produce young kids, lambs or piglets. When the young ones are weaned, the farmers were to give back to KIOF two young females. These females would then be given to other famers who were expected to rear them until they produced young ones, which would then be passed on to new farmers. This way, the farmers in a community would all own livestock to provide their various needs such as milk, a cash income and manure.
In the case of Kamuiru Single Mothers, the group had 30 women. They opted to have pigs for their project. KIOF supplied 10 young female pigs, about 4 months old, and one male pig. The group was taught organic pig-rearing methods, including feeding and composting of animal manure. Soon, the 10 pigs each had a litter of 7 newborn piglets. The piglets were weaned from their mother 2 months later. Then the young pigs were distributed to all the remaining group members, such that there were pigs in every household.
We at KIOF guided the farmers on how to regularly put beddings of dry grass and other organic waste to the animal house for beddings. The beddings were then removed at two-month intervals and composted. The ready compost was applied regularly to the farmers’ fields where they grew maize, beans, bananas and vegetables. The compost improved the soil fertility, resulting in much better crops and increased harvests. Every household was able to triple their harvest within two growing seasons.
The pigs continued to bear more piglets in subsequent littering, averaging 7-10 piglets for each litter. The new piglets were sold to farmers in neighbouring villages, while some farmers reared pigs as porkers and beckoners. They sold at good prices to local butchers and every household was thus receiving a cash income from both the improved crop harvests and from the sale of animals. The village has become food secure and the standard of living has increased tremendously after only five years. The whole village has become organic producers and users due to availability of regular compost from their livestock units. This is a real success that we believe can be replicated in many other villages.
KIOF is appealing to well wishers to help support other groups of farmers who sorely need food security and soil improvement using similar ecological innovations. Any person or organisation wishing to become a part of this organic revolution is kindly requested to contact KIOF for further information.