Ulrike Binder of Bread for the World Germany prepares to take images of innovative agroecology practices during a a site visit to Giteru village, Molo.
Vein Nyanduko Moranga, apart from growing indigenous crops like millet, sweet potato, pumpkins and bananas, specialises in indigenous vegetables. Some of the vegetables she grows include pig weed, black night shade and nderema (African spinach). She also grows cape goose berries as fruits for the family. Vegetable vendors purchase vegetables for sale from her farm. She says that she is able to educate her children through sale of the vegetables as well as meet other household needs.
She has devised a planting system that ensures that she has vegetables throughout the year. She has achieved this by apportioning the land into a number of pieces, with the vegetables planted at intervals of two weeks in their respective portions. This ensures that the vegetables mature in sequence and enable her have ready vegetables at any given period. The arrangement gives confidence to the vegetable vendors that they will get supplies throughout and fetch the vegetables on a weekly basis.
Vein has pioneered millet growing in the area. After she was sensitised on the importance of indigenous food crops during community dialogue meetings organised by MEAP, she decided to introduce millet growing on her farm. She currently harvests enough millet for the family that lasts them for a year. In order to rekindle her knowledge, she consulted elderly famers who shared vital information and knowledge on millet cultivation, harvesting, and recipes preparation. She has now become the expert in Giteru village and other farmers consult her for advice and guidance in regard to millet growing.
Seed, and knowledge exchange has become common in Giteru village since the introduction of indigenous food crops. Vein has been one of the pioneers in this process of peer learning and cross cultural exchange. She shares her experiences in vegetable farming, millet and banana growing with other farmers from different ethnic communities. She happens to come from the Abagusii community of Kenya.
Giteru has several ethnic communities including the Agikuyu, the Luhya, the Turkana and the Kamba. These communities have diverse knowledge and skills in farming and in particular, regarding indigenous food crops. In this regard, Vein and farmers from the other communities share their knowledge and experiences on indigenous food crop growing and recipes. This has seen appreciation of each community living in harmony, dietary habits, growing and using the dietary practices from the various communities.