Working towards food security in the future
Strategic Agro-ecosystems Management Organisation (SAMO) formerly Sabasaba Agribusiness Cooperative Society constitutes of nine members. It deals with sustainable agriculture production and nutrition amongst poor farming communities. It also campaigns for improving environmental conservation by linking ecology, culture, economics and society.
Its aim is to build food secure healthy farming practices in the community by emphasizing on nutrition and income generation for sustained livelihoods. Its ultimate goal is to reduce if not eliminate hunger and poverty in farming communities.
The board chairman Edward Kimuhu says that the approach they use is practical. They train farmers in cell groups on how to practice sustainable agriculture. SAMO also works with groups which do not have enough resources to buy farm inputs. SAMO also trains farmers to practice integrated farming systems based on conservation agriculture principles. The group also encourages village savings and loan association.
Farmers are also encouraged to rely on solar energy and cow dung for biogas as a means on conserving the environment. The organsation has also introduced a water management collection system whereby the rainwater collected is channeled into the farms. The organization trains three farmer groups every month on sustainable agriculture. Kimuhu says this is a continuous process which grown into a long term relationship with the farmers. He for instance has done business with KOFAr and buys organic fertilizer from them.
Farmers are also assisted to market their produce ad in the process eliminating brokers and middlemen. Majority of the farmer groups are now able to practice commercial agriculture. Since joining AAA in 2011, Kimuhu says he has benefitted a lot from the trainings held. Through the network interactions, he has also benefitted from getting business contacts.
The exchange programmes have also come in handy in opening up to new business ideas. The chairman expects to get support in writing bankable business plans. He would also like to have more trainings so that they can build the capacity of farmers to increase productivity.