Kisumu, Kenya: Rita Rose Food Garden
Our goal is a healthy life for every individual; sustainable agriculture and food security programs are key elements to reaching that goal.
Rita Rose Food Garden
The three acre patch of land known as the Rita Rose Garden was purchased in late 2009. Since it’s barren beginnings, it now boasts more than one acre of drip irrigation, three fish ponds, 17 bee hives and a greenhouse. On site they they plant and harvest maize, tomatoes, millet, cabbage, kale, spinach and sorghum among other crops. In addition, it is connected to the electrical grid and the clean water borehole that feeds the farm also serves 39,000 people in the broader community.
Nearly 200+ women that associate with the Kenyan NGO, Our Lady of Perpetual Support (OLPS), care for the garden. These women have been trained in drip irrigation installation and best practice farming methods by the Kenyan company, Green Zone Agencies. Most of the harvests are used by OLPS at their HIV and General Health Clinic or to supplement the meals of the caregivers bringing food security to more than 1200 beneficiaries each harvest. Ultimately, the garden’s surplus will also be used to support the children who will be living in the future Kisumu Rescue Center that Mama Hope began funding 2011.
This farm and garden has incredible potential.
NEXT STEPS: 2013
With the large infrastructure in place the focus now is on training, management and at-home adoption as well as improved yields and crop varietals. Our goals is to make it a productive, sustainable center for agricultural demonstration.
Courtney is helping improve three major areas:
- Training - Aside from general management training requested by the caregivers. Honey is a profitable food staple. More training and sensitization on bee keeping will be essential to the financial sustainability of the farm.
- Adoption - All caregivers have knowledge of drip irrigation and desire to access take-home kits to use at home. These kits can be created for as little as $35!
- New Products - OLPS has a goal to add a composting center, worm farm, tree and seedling nursery and chicken coup.
Achieving food security in Sub Saharan Africa continues to be a challenge:
- Malnutrition affects a third of all people in Sub-Saharan Africa – more than in any other region in the world
- 95% of agriculture in Sub-Sahara is rain fed, making land barren in the dry season
All of our projects are focused on providing alternative solutions to these challenges with income generating projects. As a result, our partner communities are able to create and implement their own Agricultural Development Action Plans to better prepare for and anticipate shocks such as famine, floods or drought. Mama Hope enacts three types of agricultural and food security projects: drip irrigation gardens, demonstration/training gardens, and sustainable farms.