Kennedy Madaga, 35 years old, is a youth farmer and a role model from Ufanisi youth group in Lyaduywa sub location, Lyaduywa location, Chavakali division, Sabatia Sub County in Vihiga County. His youth group consists of 20 members, 12 males and 8 females. He was trained as a TOT and has shown good performance under the ISFM project. The group is a beneficiary of the ISFM project and Mr. Madaga volunteered to give part of his farm as a demonstration site for his group members and other affiliate groups to learn, adopt and implement on their farms.
Kennedy is doing mixed farming as he grows indigenous vegetables throughout the year and has one hundred and two (102) stems of well-maintained tissue culture bananas on his farm all bearing bunches. In addition he has a dairy cow and keeps rabbits.
“Smallholder farms are not always market oriented. While some families ‘make a living’ out of agriculture, others keep the family land for other reasons as a place to stay, social insurance and regard agriculture as a secondary activity. Many families in this region live below the poverty line and cultivate the crops on land that is already degraded” he narrates.
He adds that some farmers paid little attention to the use and promotion of agricultural inputs until the ISFM awareness campaign steered by ROP. “We have only been using local seeds that we harvest and even do not know their viability and D.A.P fertilizer that many of us knew is the only planting fertilizer used from season to season” he says repeatedly.
Since ISFM practices were introduced to him, Madaga says that he has realized a great improvement in yields both for maize and soya. He says that long before ISFM he could only plant local seed he had preserved from the previous harvest with a large amount of DAP fertilizer without knowing that he was stressing the plants.
“I was surprised when I was told that one maize plant requires only 6gms i.e. one soda bottle top of fertilizer during planting and at top dressing until when it was demonstrated on my farm and realized that the plants could perform better. I used to put several seeds per hole with a lot of fertilizer but could not realize the yields” he reports.