Audio: Memories of rural Kenya in the 1930s–50s: My mum and I on national radio

Central Kenya landscape

Ever wondered how Africans managed in the olden days?

How did women deliver children at home? What did they feed their babies? And when people fell sick who brought them back to health and with what?

And then when the British colonialists came and tore apart the social structure in Central Kenya, what drove people to nonetheless take up the formal education they brought? (My parents’ families were among the early adopters.)

In May this year, my mum, author of a memoir titled “It’s Never Too Late”, and I were invited to The Books Café, a radio program hosted by Khainga O’Okwemba, on the national broadcaster KBC.

Though I kicked and screamed when Khainga suggested that I should join the program, it turned out OK, and I even enjoyed the chit chat…you have to think on your feet!

Here’s the audio. 1 hour long. And below it the promo clip too – 30 seconds.

 

Margaret Wakarindi Githinji – author of ‘It’s Never Too Late’, a memoir

 

First ‘fruit tree portfolios’ established in Kenya, in a novel approach to improved year-round nutrition

World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) researchers have launched a novel approach to tackle the problem of micronutrient deficiencies, also known as ‘hidden hunger.’ The fruit tree portfolio approach involves cultivating a set of fruit trees on farms, which is carefully designed to supply nutritious fruits to eat throughout the year, for diverse diets and improved health.

The fruit tree portfolio for a particular locality gives the optimum number and combination of ecologically suitable agroforestry tree species to provide for year-round fresh fruits for households’ requirements of vitamin C and pro-vitamin A, both essential nutrients. Because the trees in the portfolio have different harvest seasons spanning the entire calendar year, they provide a year-round supply of at least one fruit species per month for the household. Read more…

Empowering farmers with knowledge and skills changes lives

To visit with Cameroonian farmer Louis-Marie Atangana is to witness first hand how farmers’ empowerment with knowledge and skills can change lives and landscapes.

Louis-Marie-seedlings-blog
Cameroonian farmer and nursery owner Louis-Marie Atangana checks allanblackia seeds he plans to grow into seedlings. Photo by Daisy Ouya/ICRAF

Until 4 years ago Atangana, 45, was a cassava farmer struggling to feed his family of 14 children. But in 2010 he and several members from his village self-help group decided to join an agroforestry training offered by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)-Cameroon, through a Rural Resource Centre. He has had three such trainings to date, dealing with different aspects of tree nursery establishment and management.

He has put the knowledge and skills gained to good use, establishing a tree nursery next to his house soon after his first training. Atangana’s home nursery in Nkenlikok village, deep inside the forest zone that surrounds Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital city, is now serving his community’s needs for accessible and affordable good quality tree seedlings. Read more. . .