As part of the Water Energy for Food Programme Funded Project in Ileret, we have been conducting training in Hydroponic Farming for local community members.
In June this year, we conducted public participation meetings to let people know about the opportunity and to share more about the project in general. This was brightened by a mobile hydroponic model.
Peter and Shadrack lead an introductory presentation of Hydroponic Agriculture while Mutuku passes around pumice, a key hydroponic growing media
The community members nominated 12 trainees, split between the different locations in Ileret. The group is made of 8 women and 3 men, with a mixture of experience in agriculture, some students having never planted anything before, and others having some experience of small-scale rain fed agriculture with mixed results.
The students’ first tour in the shamba, led by Shadrack
The training programme is split into 3 phases, an initial 8 week intensive education phase, where the students will be taught the basics of hydroponic agriculture. A second, 8 week phase which will transition from learning to implementation. The final phase of the training will shift to implementation, where the students will implement hydroponic agriculture under the guidance of the TBI team. Due to literacy limitations, we developed hydroponics illustrations with Digital Lions, the world’s first Free Trade Digital Agency, and our neighbors based in Turkana.
Shadrack giving a theory lesson, using a booklet produced with illustrations created by Learning Lions.
This training has been led by Shadrack Nyawanga, who has extensive experience in hydroponic agriculture and community outreach and training. The curriculum covers many topics, including the basics such as nomenclature and components of hydroponic farms, construction and maintenance of farm infrastructure, cultivation of common crops, and troubleshooting for pests, diseases and nutrient deficiency.
Trainees learn how to install hydroponics troughs with the close instruction of Naftali, our expert plumber.
In future this training program, and the curriculum we have developed will be used to scale hydroponic training in the region more broadly.