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VIDEO STORY: Smart farmers look to beat climate change


In the Kenyan region of Laikipia, a group of small-scale African farmers is leveraging smart farming technologies to beat changing weather patterns.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS STORY IS EDITED IN NEWS AGENCY STYLE. IT IS EDITED FOR EASY REPURPOSING BY VIDEO NEWS PRODUCERS. IF YOU WOULD LIKE MORE VIDEO NEWS CONTENT OR WOULD PREFER MULTIMEDIA VERSIONS OF BIRD STORIES, PLEASE EMAIL US AT bird@africainsight.co.ke

STORY NAME: SMALL-SCALE FARMERS TURN TO SMART FARMING TO BEAT CLIMATE CHANGE

LOCATION: LAIKIPIA, KENYA

DATE SHOT: 18/7/22

SOUND: NATURAL SOUND WITH ENGLISH AND KIKUYU SPEECH

DURATION: 4:12

SOURCE: BIRD STORY AGENCY

RESTRICTIONS: NONE

ASPECT RATIO: 16.9

ORIGINAL FRAME RATE: 24 fps (progressive).

INTRO: In the Kenyan region of Laikipia, a group of small-scale African farmers is leveraging smart farming technologies to beat changing weather patterns.


SHOWS: LAIKIPIA, KENYA (BIRD STORY AGENCY - ACCESS ALL)

1. WATER DRIPS FROM PVC IRRIGATION PIPE

2. WATER DRIPPING FROM PIPES

3. VEGETABLES IN FIELD BEING IRRIGATED WITH DRIP IRRIGATION

4. THE COMMUNITY'S NDATHIMI DAM

5. LIVESTOCK GRAZING NEAR DAM

6. WATER TANKS WITH SOLAR PANELS

7. WATER TANKS

8. MAN OPENING TAP USING A WRENCH

9. WRENCH USED TO OPEN TAP

10.VEGETABLES BEING WATERED WITH DRIP IRRIGATION

11.JOYCE MWANGI, AGRICULTURE EXTENSION OFFICER, LAIKIPIA COUNTY, INSPECTING PLANTS WITH THE FARMERS

12.(SOUNDBITE) (English speech) JOYCE MWANGI, AGRICULTURE EXTENSION OFFICER, SAYING:

"The project is important because before this project was installed here, the farmers used to farm using furrow irrigation. Mostly they used a lot of water. But as of now, they are able to use very minimal water, meaning they will be able to sustain the water that is in the dam, and it will be used by most of the community".

13.DOMESTIC ANIMALS GRAZING NEAR DAM

14.FAMER AND HIS DOMESTIC ANIMALS

15.FARMERS AND OFFICIALS INSPECTING DAM

16.FARMERS AND OFFICIALS

17. (SOUNDBITE) (English speech) MOSES NJAGI, SMART-AGRICULTURE OFFICER, SAYING:

"Through the use of the components of water harvesting, we harvest the water during the rainy season and we store it in our dams. So, that during the dry spell, we can supply it to the crops".

18.VARIOUS OF DAM

19.WATER TANKS

20.CABBAGES IN FIELD

21.FARMERS AND OFFICIALS INSPECT FARM

22.CABBAGES ON CART

23.CUSTOMER CHOOSING VEGETABLES

24.CUSTOMER BUYING VEGETABLES

25.STEPHEN MUNYEKI, FARMER INSPECTING CROPS

26.(SOUNDBITE) (Kikuyu speech) STEPHEN MUNYEKI, FARMER, SAYING:

"I used to work as a driver but since the dam was constructed, I decided to invest from here instead of going to work far. So, I decided to plant vegetables, to first observe how well is the soil from the dam construction. Am planning to plant tomatoes after my vegetable harvest".

27.MUNYEKI INSPECTING VEGETABLES

28.FIELD UNDER IRRIGATION

29.FARMERS INSPECTING CROPS UNDER IRRIGATION

30.CROPS ON FARM

31.VARIOUS OF FARMERS AND IRRIGATION

32.GROUP OF FARMERS

33.NJAGI

34.FARMERS

35.JOYCE MWANGI INSPECTING SOLAR PUMP INVERTER

36.TRUCKS HEADING TO MARKET

37.TRUCKS ARRIVE AT MARKET

38.FRESH PRODUCE FOR SALE

39.VEGETABLES ARE UNLOADED

40.CUSTOMER PURCHASING VEGETABLES

41.POTATOES FOR SALE

42.VENDOR PACKING VEGETABLES

43.CUSTOMER PURCHASING VEGETABLES

44.BUSY MARKET


STORY -

One of Africa's quickest "wins" when it comes to ways of adapting and taking agency in the face of climate change, is food resilience. One group of small-scale farmers in central Kenya is taking this idea to heart, using climate-smart agricultural techniques.


On the banks of the Ndathimi Dam, in an area of high altitude close to the equator, the county government for the area has helped farmers to introduce a community program. The farmers redirect flood water after heavy rains to the dam, then use water-wise systems to irrigate their crops and ensure there is water for plants and livestock during the dry season. This frees farmers from dependency on rain-fed agriculture, which is increasingly risky due to the prolonged, hotter dry spells the region has been seeing over the past two decades.


"The project is important because before this project was installed here, the farmers used to farm using furrow irrigation. Mostly they used a lot of water. But as of now, they are able to use very minimal water, meaning they will be able to sustain the water that is in the dam, and it will be used by most of the community," explained Joyce Mwangi, an agriculture exyension officer, Laikipia County.


The project uses solar power and gravity to pump water to the farms, which have tank storage, allowing farmers to then use drip irrigation and soil-friendly crops to keep yields high.


"Through the use of the components of water harvesting, we harvest the water during the rainy season and we store it in our dams. So, that during the dry spell, we can supply it to the crops" explained Moses Njagi, a local official.


This type of farming has not only increased the quality and quantity of farm output in the area but has also attracted more people to engage in smart farming.


The dam has a capacity of 50,000 cubic meters, enough to service farms across the area if smart farming guidelines are followed. There are around 200 farmers making use of the water, to plant a variety of crops among them cabbages, kales, onions, and beans as well as water their animals.


The program, which was started in 2020 has seen widespread support from farmers in the area, who have seen opportunities that did not exist before.


"I used to work as a driver but since the dam was constructed, I decided to invest from here instead of going to work far. So, I decided to plant vegetables, to first observe how well is the soil from the dam construction. Am planning to plant tomatoes after my vegetable harvest," said farmer, Stephen Munyeki


Farmers from the area now deliver vegetables to the area's vibrant markets, compared to before.




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