Puma Secondary School students in Kenya’s Southern Coast have grown up in a region that is ranked a ‘tourist hot spot’ in Africa and have never dreamt that this region had the potential to produce fresh and healthy agricultural yields from their hot soil, based on what they have seen around them. These students were beneficiaries of Amiran’s partnership with The Kenya Red Cross Society, Safaricom and National Oil, companies and organizations that joined hands during the Kenyans for Kenya campaign that saw Amiran tasked with putting up the Amiran Farmers Kit (AFK) in various drought stricken areas of the country, all with the aim of helping the country have a sustainable and reliable source of food.
Yariv Kedar, Amiran’s Deputy Managing Director has from time to time stated that the AFK is not only an agricultural product but a concept that guarantees farmers success if followed to detail. Kedar, who is also the inventor of this concept that has in the recent years revolutionized small-scale farming in East Africa, insists that the most important anchor of the AFK is the training that comes with it. With the passion of Kedar and the words of Winston Churchill that state if you have knowledge, let others light their candles with it, Faith Mbugua an Amiran Agronomist in the Coastal region took up the task of training the Likoni students who at the time did not even know the colour of a simple tomato that most of us are so used to seeing.
Faith who visits the school often, has played a major role in impacting these young minds with enough knowledge that has enabled them to practice farming on their own. The students can testify to the great impact knowledge can have on people for they are now able to set up a nursery set, know the essence and importance of the gravity-fed irrigation system that comes with the kit, how often to feed the crops with fertilizers and when to harvest the crops grown in the greenhouse and under the open field irrigation system.
Parents and teachers can’t help but smile as they watch these young boys and girls enjoy farming and turn theory classes into a hands-on practical experience that has seen the school benefit to the point of selling the crops and generating income for the school. The income has made it possible for them to save up for the next crop, sponsorship for underprivileged students and the improvement of their community at large.
Terming agriculture as ‘cool’ the Likoni students are ready to be trainers of their peers as they embark on a move to be Amiran’s Next Generation Farmers while at the same time spreading the knowledge to more youths in their community and encourage agribusiness.